Mother maintains pursuit of justice after son’s killer pleads guilty

Jaz Granderson, an assistant high school football coach at De Smet, was killed in 2017.
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 6:34 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- A local mother is still seeking justice for her son, Jaz Granderson, whose life was cut short in a killing. In an exclusive interview with First Alert 4 Investigates, Reign Harris opened up about her six-year wait for justice and the hope for closure.

“He was always smiling. Just always full of life,” Harris said about her 27-year-old son.

She says he had an infectious love for life. Granderson, a natural athlete, dedicated himself to the sport he adored: football. As the assistant football coach at De Smet High School, Harris said it was an opportunity for him to give back.

However, an act of violence in 2017 would forever change the course of their lives. Jherrica Dixon, an acquaintance, lured Jaz Granderson to her home under false pretenses. It was there that Floyd Barber and Kurt Wallace ambushed him, robbing him of his life and his car.

“They eliminated my ability to have grandchildren from Jaz. Horrible, horrible,” Harris said.

Wallace managed to escape from jail in 2019, further delaying the legal process. Law enforcement linked the three individuals to two other shootings and multiple carjackings, compounding the grief and frustration for Harris.

All three perpetrators have pleaded guilty. Kurt Wallace Wednesday accepted a plea deal that could result in a 60-year prison sentence.

“I don’t feel like he was sorry. I feel like if he was able to be on the street, he’d do the same exact thing again to someone else,” Harris said.

Wallace’s sentencing is scheduled for December, and Harris remains determined in her pursuit of justice.

“With everything in me, I hope that the judge says life. And if not, and he can only do the 60, I hope that he dies in prison,” she said.

After six agonizing years of waiting, Harris hopes that she is one step closer to finding closure.

“They had no regard for your life. None. And I have no regard for theirs, none,” Harris emphasized.

She is resolute in her mission to honor her son’s memory and has established a foundation to support youth football and the families of young people affected by similar tragedies.