by: Christine McCarthy Updated:
DARTMOUTH, Mass. - The family and friends of a Dartmouth teen who was murdered 23 years ago protested the release of a book about his convicted killer Tuesday.
Jason Robinson was 16 when three other teens broke into Dartmouth High School and stabbed him to death in the midst of other classmates and teachers. Robinson's friend was the intended target, but the teens stabbed him in the stomach instead.
Karter Reed, Gator Collet and Nigel Thomas were convicted of his murder and have since served time and been released.
"Karter knew what he was doing to my brother that day," Jason's sister, Shauna Robinson, said. "He stabbed him once, and he stabbed him hard, and he died in six minutes, and he laughed at him while my brother was on the floor."
Shauna Robinson said releasing the book on the anniversary, April 12, is particularly upsetting.
"That's the day about remembering Jason and his life and his smile," Robinson said, "and now they tainted that by coming out with a book."
Author Jean Trounstine, also a local professor and activist, said the release of the book just happened to fall on the anniversary and she would have changed it, if she could have.
Trounstine said she understands the family's anger and hurt, but said she wrote the book, "Boy with a Knife: A Story of Murder, Remorse and Prisoner's Fight for Justice," to shed light on an imperfect justice system for juvenile offenders.
"Any child, even someone who commits the most heinous of crimes is capable of change," Trounstine said. "The best way to treat kids is not through the adult prison system, and that doesn't really help the kids or keep us safe."
Reed had sent letters to Trounstine from prison and the two corresponded for years through his 2013 release on parole. Trounstine told FOX25 Reed is a changed man who is educating himself and staying out of trouble.
"He knows what he took away from the Robinsons," Trounstine said. "He lives with it every day. Just because he's out doesn't change that. And I think that's true about kids who kill."
But Shauna Robinson and her brother's friends don't believe Reed's transformation, and they vow always to keep Jason's memory alive.
"It's just making sure that Jason understands that there's a voice for him here, and that's what we're going to do," said Jason's childhood friend Matt Alves, who helped organized the protest. "This is something that scarred and impacted everyone. It's something that we will never forget."
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