FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Greyson Kessler, 4, was killed in May by his own father in a horrific murder-suicide. His mother was devastated by the loss, but is now turning her pain into action for other families.
Alison Kessler remembers her son as vibrant, fun-loving and sweet.
“This is the last thing that I got from him for Mother’s Day right before he was killed,” Kessler told Local 10 News reporter Madeleine Wright as she showed her the present and Greyson’s room.
Kessler said she knew something was wrong when Greyson didn’t show up for school for two days in a row.
On May 20, police entered the home of John Stacey, Greyson’s father, and made a grisly discovery.
“Police knocked on my door. And they told me Greyson and John were shot on the couch. And that was all I heard,” Kessler said.
Police said Stacey shot Greyson in the head before killing himself.
“To make me miserable. And that was the only way -- he told me that. It’s the only thing he can do to really get back at me. He didn’t want Greyson. He didn’t want this life,” Kessler said.
Kessler said Stacey sent hundreds of verbally abusive text messages to her for years, even writing: “You deserve to have your head separated from your body. But I am not the violent type. God will deal with you.”
“I fully believe his father should not have had 50% custody,” Kessler said.
Kessler tried to get a restraining order for domestic violence against Stacey shortly before Greyson’s death, but a judge denied it due to lack of evidence.
“If the abuse is not directly toward the child, it’s a lot more challenging to obtain an injunction or to remove a child from a home, specifically when you’re talking about custody battles or divorces,” State Rep. Michael Grieco, D-District 113, said.
Kessler is now working with Grieco and others to pass Greyson’s Law.
“We want to give judges the ability to remove the child from the home if there’s concerns that the parent is either threatening or abusing the other parent,” Grieco said.
They say this will close a gap in the law to prevent other children from suffering the same fate as Greyson.
“No one is going to sleep until justice for Greyson comes about,” Kessler said.
Grieco said he wants to file legislation for Greyson’s Law this month with the hope that it gets bipartisan support and is written in the books by spring of next year.
Kessler, a digital marketing consultant, says she is not ready to go to work while she grieves the loss of her son. Her friend has created a GoFundMe page to assist Kessler with her living expenses during her time of need.