By Gregory Lemos and Rebekah Riess, CNN
Three teenagers from Miramar, Florida, will be charged as adults in the death of a fellow high school student who police say was found badly beaten, stabbed, and hidden in some bushes in his apartment complex.
The Broward County State Attorney’s Office said Tuesday it will charge the suspects — a boy and two girls — as adults, with formal charges expected to be filed in the coming weeks.
An arrest warrant was issued for the three suspects on October 22, charging them with first-degree murder, criminal conspiracy, and evidence tampering, according to Tania Rues, public information officer for the Miramar Police Department. They are being held at the Juvenile Assessment Center pending trial.
The victim was 18-year-old Dwight “DJ” Grant, according to CNN affiliate WPLG.
Miramar police say the killing was premeditated, citing text messages sent between two of the suspects about a week before the stabbing that were disclosed in the arrest affidavit.
According to the affidavit, the slain teen’s mother made contact with authorities on October 19 after reviewing surveillance video from her complex, where she said she saw “two men beating her child, while a female watched.” She told police she had not seen her son since October 17.
The responding officer found evidence of blood where the alleged beating the mother had seen on the surveillance video took place and discovered the deceased teen in the bushes with a broken knife laying on the ground in front of the body, the affidavit says.
Police say surveillance video from October 17 shows the three suspects, a 17-year-old male, a 17-year-old female, and a 16-year-old female, departing an apartment building together and walking to the crime scene where the victim lived. One of the female suspects told detectives the male suspect was in possession of a large sword and small knife at the time.
The female suspect told detectives that the other teen girl lured the victim outside and into a stairwell. According to text messages disclosed in the affidavit, the female suspect previously made plans over text message to have sex with the victim, the pretense used to draw him out of his apartment the day he was killed, the affidavit says.
According to the affidavit, the victim was then held down, beaten and stabbed.
Text messages disclosed by police between two of the suspects show the male suspect was upset with the victim because he believed the victim had sex with his ex-girlfriend.
“Detectives spoke with that ex-girlfriend and she stated that the sexual relationship was consensual,” Rues told CNN.
CNN has reached out to the Broward County Public Defender’s Office, which is representing two of the suspects. CNN has also reached out to attorney Joshua Fisher, who is representing the third suspect, for comment.
“May our forever Patriot Rest In Peace,” Miramar High School Principal Loli Formoso said in a tweet. “Please pray for Dwight Grant’s family, friends and our community. I spoke with Ms. Grant to offer our condolences on behalf of the Patriot family.”
Police say they are withholding surveillance video related to the incident pending approval from the Broward State Attorney’s Office.
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