The Judge presiding over the trial of Dante Wright for the murder of Jordan Klee was reported to have seen Wright grinning during open court. The grin, directed at the victim’s family members in the gallery, seemed to be a message conveying his lack of remorse for killing their son.

Klee’s mother cried in court as she tried to keep herself together while talking about how much her son meant to her and how devastated she was by his death. The suspect, Wright, grinned at her menacingly throughout her emotional testimony.

When the mother of the victim was describing how much pain she was in as a result of her lost son, Swartz was not amused to discover the offender grinning at her. As a consequence, Judge Swartz permitted prosecutors to reconsider their plea agreement with Wright as a result of his guilty plea to the first-degree murder charge of Klee.

“Watching you sit there, smile and laugh and shake your head like this was no big deal, I’m very tempted to just say I’m not going to accept this sentence agreement,” Swartz said. “We’ll go to trial, and if you’re convicted of felony murder, you’ll go to prison for the rest of your life. That means you’ll die there. That’s what I’m tempted to do.”

During Klee’s mother’s victim impact statement, which she delivered in open court to help others comprehend her loss, Judge Swartz saw Wright smiling. The judge observed Wright grinning throughout the grandparent and cousin’s victim impact statements, which included occasions when the victim’s family addressed him directly.

“This year was supposed to be a year of celebration … instead, it was a nightmare,” read the statement by Klee’s mother, Karen. “On the nights I manage to sleep, I hear my son scream for me.”

Wright’s lawyer, David Goldstein, explained to Judge Swartz that his client was only seventeen years old and had behavioral issues that made him smile at inappropriate times. Wright himself took the opportunity to speak in front of the courtroom to confirm that he wanted the plea deal and tell his loved ones how much he cared for them. According to Goldstein, despite appearances, Wright wasn’t actually happy or angry in this moment-just very afraid.

“At his age, in his condition, he might not be able to express it as well as some other defendants,” Goldstein stated.

Wright was one of three suspects who pleaded guilty to the murder of Klee. Wright admitted that he shot Klee to death after robbing him of drugs and money.