Baltimore Gay Teen murdered by ex-con Dante Parrish
A fifteen year-old Baltimore gay teen was murdered by ex-con and 'family friend', Dante Parrish. Parrish, who was released early from prison under the Innocence Project, served only 10 years of an original 30-year sentence for a 1999 killing after the Innocence Project, a non-profit legal group, "found that Parrish had pleaded guilty to second-degree murder based on a faulty statement of facts read into the court record,"..." A judge overturned Parrish's conviction.
Parrish, who has been charged with first-degree murder in the brutal killing of Jason Mattison, Jr., allegedly raped, gagged and stabbed 15-year old Mattison to death before stuffing his body in a closet at Mattison's aunt's house last week.
Jason’s killing left his teachers, classmates and relatives in tears and family members asking questions of one another even in the days leading up to today’s funeral.
Did Jason leave his mother’s house and move in with his aunt, as his grandmother suggested? Or was he just visiting on that fateful day, as a cousin said? And why did people in his aunt’s house open their door to the suspect, a convicted killer released early from prison because of flaws in his case?
His paternal grandmother, Wanda Williams, one of the first Jason confided in about being gay and who handed him a few dollars now and then for food and clothes, questioned how other relatives could have allowed the boy to be in the same house with Parrish, given his violent past.
“I haven’t cried so much this entire life,” Williams said. “My grandson hollering for help and there is nobody there to help him.”
Jason was one of the most popular kids at school, his English teacher said, always first to class, always first to the cafeteria, where students fought to sit at his table, always first to turn in his homework and always getting near-perfect grades.
“He was outspoken and excited about everything he talked about,” Jones said. “Walking into school, he was the first one to share what he did over the weekend. He was very, very popular, and he was everyone’s best friend.”
Jason wanted to be a pediatrician, Jones said, and the only thing the two debated was Jason’s constant chatter.
“He was not a behavioral problem,” Jones said. “He was a talking problem.”
A Baltimore police spokesman would say only that Jason “was staying at his aunt’s house.” It was there that Jason met Parrish, with whom the spokesman said the teen had a “forced sexual relationship.”
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