April 12, 2012 at 7:23 pm EDT | by Steve Charing
Gay teen’s killer gets life without parole
jail cell, gay news, gay politics dc

Mattison had been living “place to place” after being allegedly kicked out of his home because of his sexual orientation before Parrish murdered him. (Photo by Andrew Bardwell via Wikimedia)

Dante Parrish, 37, was sentenced to life in prison without any chance of parole on April 3 for the November 2009 murder of 15-year-old Jason Mattison, Jr. in Baltimore. The sentence is the most severe punishment in Maryland short of the death penalty.

Baltimore Circuit Judge John Addison Howard quoted an old Scottish prayer when handing down the sentence.  “You are not a ghoul or a thing that goes bump in the night. But you are every bit as frightening because you are real.” Parrish was a convicted killer freed from prison with the help of the Innocence Project in a 1999 murder. He killed Mattison 11 months later.

Assistant State’s Attorney Jennifer Hastings argued during the trial that Mattison, who was openly gay and popular at school, was found stuffed into a closet in an upstairs bedroom of an East Baltimore house in the 2400 block of Llewelyn Avenue with a pillowcase jammed in his mouth. His throat was slashed and he had been sexually assaulted.

Hastings pointed out that Mattison was virtually homeless because he was reportedly not welcome in his mother’s home as a result of his sexual orientation. He was living “place to place to keep a roof over his head,” she told jurors. He had been living in the home of a relative at the time he was murdered.

However, his mother denied that accusation and responded at the hearing through a statement read by a relative, “My son was never homeless. I did not put him out because of his sexuality.”

  • Lying [EXPLETIVE REMOVED] Mother

    Right mom, he just enjoyed sleeping on couches for the absolute level of comfort they provided. The [EXPLETIVE REMOVED] threw her son out for being gay and now that he’s been killed she’s got the nerve to deny it. Parents of LGBT kids are just as responsible for their deaths as the killer when it occurs in a situation such as this. IF Jason Mattison had a loving family to protect him he’d still be walking around enjoying life.

    • As you don’t know the story, let’s not rush to judgement. I’msure Jason wasn’t the only 15 year old who couldn’t come to terms with living at home, gay or straight. Your anger and bitterness speaks to a severe emotional state which you obviously allow to manifest itself, helping no one. Don’t bring us all down by your actions. The killer is responsible, not the Mother. How about the Innocence Project, let’s blame them as they unleashed a killer on us all!

  • I really feel for his fellow inmates. Can you imagine being locked up with this creep? Jesus he’s a waste of oxygen. Adios M.F.!!!!!!

  • Yes his mother is a pile of trash. Sorry trash, you didn’t deserve that.

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