Three Florida teenagers arrested last week and accused of luring a high school classmate from his home and then stabbing him to death with a knife and sword will be charged as adults, according to prosecutors.
Police said one girl held the victim down as a boy attacked the victim and another girl kept watch. The three face charges of first-degree murder, conspiracy and evidence tampering.
The victim, Dwight “DJ” Grant, 18, disappeared Oct. 17. His body was found two days later in Miramar, about 20 miles north of downtown Miami, in bushes behind the apartment complex where he lived, police told NBC South Florida.
In an arrest affidavit, police alleged that the three teens, 16- and 17-year-old girls and a 17-year-old boy, conspired to lure Grant into a trap and worked together to facilitate the killing.
One girl allegedly held Grant down while the boy beat and stabbed him with a knife and sword while the other girl kept watch. Then, the three teens allegedly worked together to dispose of the weapons and clean up evidence of the killing.
“The three suspects in the homicide of Dwight Grant will be charged as adults,” said a statement from the Broward State Attorney’s Office.
“If this case were to be handled as a juvenile matter, the maximum term of residential treatment would be 36 months prior to release. A juvenile charge would mean that the person would be released after three years in the system and could only be kept under supervision in the community until age 21,” the statement said.
Formal charges were forthcoming, prosecutors said. The teens have not been identified.
According to the affidavit for the teens’ arrests, filed Oct. 22, the three were filmed on surveillance cameras leaving together, coming to Grant’s home and luring him into an outdoor stairwell, where they ambushed him.
One text message from the 17-year-old male said “murder was coming soon” to the victim, to which the 17-year-old girl, identified as his girlfriend, “jokingly” offered to help, according to police.
The motive for the killing was that Grant allegedly had sex with an unnamed girl, which infuriated the 17-year-old boy because he had an “emotional connection” with the girl, police said an investigation of the teens’ text messages revealed.
“May our forever Patriot Rest In Peace,” Miramar High School Principal Loli Formoso wrote on Twitter.
“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. We will have grief counselors available on Thursday & Friday. We are here for you.”
Tim Fitzsimons is a reporter for NBC News. he/him
Elisha Fieldstadt is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.