There is an update to the tragic case of Jason Mattison, the openly gay 15-year-old Baltimore student brutally murdered in November 2009. The ex-convict who previously served time for murder and confessed to killing the teen has been sentenced to life in prison without parole, reports the Baltimore Sun.
Dante Parrish, a convicted killer freed from prison with the help of the Innocence Project in a 1999 murder, was sentenced to life without parole Tuesday for murdering a 15-year-old Baltimore boy less than a year after his release.
Baltimore Circuit Judge John Addison Howard quoted an old Scottish prayer when handing down the sentence, which included a second life term for attempting to sexually assault Jason Mattison Jr. before suffocating the teen with a pillowcase, slashing his throat and stuffing him in a bedroom closet in November 2009.
"From ghoulies and ghosties and long-legged beasties and things that go bump in the night, good Lord deliver us," Howard recited. "To me," he told Parrish, "you are every bit as frightening and more, because you are real."
The circumstances surrounding Mattison's death remain unclear. Mattison was a star student at the Vivian T. Thomas Medical Arts Academy and hoped to become a pediatrician. But he was not living with his mother at the time of his death. The teen was living in his aunt's boarding house.
Reports indicated that Parrish forced Jason into a sexual relationship. Some family members and/or their tenants may have been aware and looked the other way. It also remains unclear why family members allowed a man with Parrish's background around children.
The victim's sexuality ran as an undercurrent of this case, said Miller. At the trial, prosecutors said he had to shuffle from one home to another because he was gay. Through a relative reading from a statement, Mattison's mother used the hearing to respond to the rumors, saying, "My son was never homeless. I did not put him out because of his sexuality."
Jason Mattison's murder happend during a rash of violence against Black and Latino gay youth in late 2009. Mattison's murder happened the same week a gay high school student was attacked by metal pipe-wielding classmates in Houston. Also that week: A substitute teacher in suburban Atlanta was arrested for allegedly soliciting another student to kill an openly gay 16-year-old student who was gay. And of course the Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado tragedy happened in Puerto Rico only two weeks before Mattison's death.
An awful and horrible story.