Three Florida teenagers who are accused of stabbing a classmate to death and hiding his body in bushes will be charged as adults, according to prosecutors.
The alleged killers, a 17-year-old girl, a 16-year-old girl and a 17-year-old boy are charged in connection with the Oct. 17 murder, according to Broward County prosecutors, who said they intend to file adult charges against the trio, the Miami Herald reported. It was unclear Thursday night whether the adult charges were filed yet.
“If this case were to be handled as a juvenile matter, the maximum term of residential treatment would be 36 months prior to release,” the Broward State Attorney’s Office said in a statement to CBS Miami. “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.”
USA TODAY is not identifying the juveniles until the adult charges are formally filed.
According to an arrest affidavit dated Oct. 22, the 16-year-old girl confessed to planning an attack on their classmate with the 17-year-old girl and boy because the victim had sex with an ex-partner of the 17-year-old boy. The 16-year-old girl told investigators the 17-year-old girl “lured” the victim out of his apartment and into the stairwell, where they ambushed him and held him down as the 17-year-old boy beat the victim, then stabbed him using a knife and a sword.
The 17-year-old girl and boy then allegedly carried the victim’s “lifeless” body over a railing and left it in some bushes about 30 minutes later, as seen on security footage.
The victim was identified as Dwight Grant by local outlets and by Miramar High School Principal Maria Formoso on Twitter.
The three teens face charges of first-degree murder, criminal conspiracy and tampering with evidence, according to the arrest affidavit from the Miramar Police Department.
Police were called on Oct. 19 by Grant’s mother, who said her son was missing and that she reviewed security camera footage showing him being beaten by two people while a third person watched. Officers discovered evidence of blood at the location on the security footage, and found Grant’s body in bushes.
Grant’s mother told police she had tried to report him missing two days earlier, but was told she had to wait longer because he was an adult.
Investigators said the murder was pre-meditated, as evidenced in texts between The 17-year-old girl and boy. “Murder will definitely happen soon,” the 17-year-old boy said in a text to the 17-year-old girl, who agreed to help in a message.
The 16-year-old girl also claimed the 17-year-old girl brought cleaning supplies with her and cleaned up blood off the floor, and the teens later burned some of the clothes they had been wearing during the murder, according to the affidavit.
The 17-year-old girl appeared in the footage to keep watch as the other two teens carried out the attack, the affidavit states. The 17-year-old girl also made plans to have sex with Grant as a pretense for finding out where he lived and luring him out, investigators said.
Members of the community held a vigil for Grant this week, with several students in attendance shown in photos wearing T-shirts with Grant’s picture.
“May our forever Patriot Rest In Peace. Please pray for Dwight Grant’s family, friends and our community,” Formoso, Grant’s high school principal, said in a tweet.