A popular black gay Baltimore teen was laid to rest Wednesday but the circumstances surrounding his death remain unclear. Fifteen-year-old Jason Mattison Jr. was known for his skin-tight jeans and funky sweaters. The flamboyant, openly gay teen was a star student at the Vivian T. Thomas Medical Arts Academy and hoped to become a pediatrician. Little was known about his family life until his body was found, viciously stabbed and stuffed into a closet. A 35-year-old ex-convict who previously served time for murder has confessed to killing Jason—a man who apparently lived at Dante's home and forced the boy into a sexual relationship, reports the Baltimore Sun.
Last week, at his aunt's house, one of the few occupied homes on a block boarded and sagging, he was found dead - raped, gagged with a pillowcase, stabbed repeatedly in the head and throat, and shoved into an upstairs closet. 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?
[Jason's grandmother] said Jason left his mother recently and moved into the house on Llewellyn Avenue, though family members there said he only visited. A Baltimore police spokesman would say only that Jason "was staying at his aunt's house." It was there that Jason met Dante Parrish, with whom the spokesman said the teen had a "forced sexual relationship." Whether Parrish went from prison to live at the rowhouse on Llewellyn Avenue or frequented it could not be determined. [Jayson's cousin Laquanna Couplin] would not elaborate beyond confirming that the man was a longtime family friend.
The day Jason's body was found, it was Couplin who called police, at 3 a.m. Nov. 10. She reported that someone had broken into the house and stolen a television from the living room. A police officer came and wrote a larceny report. Couplin called police again at 5:09 a.m., saying that she saw blood on a banister leading to the second floor. She also reported Jason missing.Police found his body in the back of a second-floor closet. Charging documents say that "several witnesses were identified and positively identified defendant Dante Parrish as the person responsible for this act." Couplin said she now believes the missing television was a diversion to make it look like a break-in.
Police arrested Parrish two days later at a convenience store. Parrish confessed and is being held without bail. In the meantime, many questions remain about Parrish's relationship with the family. How many people at the boarding house knew Parrish forced Jayson into a sexual relationship but looked the other way? And why did the family allow Parrish into the home? Jason's grandmother, Wanda Williams, questioned how other relatives could have allowed the boy to be in the same house with Parrish. "I haven't cried so much this entire life," Williams said. "My grandson hollering for help and there is nobody there to help him.
Thanks BALTIMORE FEMME and RJ!