FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Dwight “DJ” Grant was murdered in October, and the three teens accused in his killing have been in custody for months.
On Thursday, all three were in court for hearings and, for the first time, we heard from Grant’s parents. They spoke at a hearing for Christie Parisien as her attorney tried to get her released on bond.
“She stood right in my face and said she didn’t know what happened to my son. She stood right in my face,” Grant’s mother Madgelyn Emile said. “And I don’t know if he was still alive and I could help him.”
Said Dwight Grant Sr.: “The defendant choose to deprive me, his family, his friends, of his life.”
Grant, 18, was killed in the stairwell of his Miramar apartment complex.
Parisien’s attorney argued that she had no idea that Grant would be killed when she lured him out of his apartment with the promise of sex, leading him right to Andre Clements and Jaslyn Smith, who police say stabbed him to death.
“The evidence points to she was manipulated to being involved in this without knowing that a murder was going to take place,” said Peter Butlien, an attorney for Parisien.
The state, armed with hundreds of pages of text messages between Parisien and Clements, argued she knew exactly what was happening and that the teens shared a twisted, dark attraction to violence in their digital exchanges.
“She knew this was a murder,” prosecutor Kristine Bradley said in the hearing. “Ms. Parisien and Mr. Clements, in their month of messages, they have talked numerous times about murder, about stabbing people. ... In this case, on Oct. 3, she says, ‘I love your opinion and all but it is spooky season and my toes will be red, to represent the blood I be stepping on after I viciously stab someone to death.’”
Broward Circuit Judge Ernest Kollra denied bond for Parisien and, earlier in the day, held a status hearing for Clements and Smith to make sure all three cases are staying on track.
In court, Grant’s mother said she hasn’t been able to return to her job as a nurse at Memorial Regional Hospital and that she fears for her life if any of the teens accused were to be released from jail.
“I haven’t been able to sleep. Every little sound I hear outside, I feel so scared,” she said.
Emile also detailed speaking to Parisien after her son was found dead.
“The last number that was on that phone was Christie. I called her and she came by my house and she told me she doesn’t know what happens to my son,” the mother said. “The last thing she said to me was, ‘I hope you find him.’ Knowing what they did to him, she doesn’t deserve to be here.”
All three suspects will continue to be held without bond.
“I’m so traumatized. I’m trying to get away,” Grant’s father said. “[DJ and I] did so much stuff together. I’m trying to come to grips. ... He’s got other siblings. I have to be explaining to them what happened to their brother.”