AUSTIN, Texas – Court records show that a 17-year-old runaway accused in the campus killing of a University of Texas student claimed he left home because his grandmother's religious beliefs demanded that teenagers his age go "make their own way in the world."
Records obtained by The Associated Press show that Meechaiel Criner told police he walked and hitchhiked the 300-plus miles from his home along the Texas-Arkansas border to Austin last August.
A state child welfare agency also claimed in a filing that Criner's mother in 2011 threatened to make sure her son would "go to foster care."
Authorities say Criner will be charged with murder in the death of 18-year-old Haruka Weiser. Her body was found on the 50,000-student campus April 3.
Criner is being held on $1 million bond.