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Some sensed trouble before teen stabbed his baby to death

Christopher Earl Glass' friends and coaches struggle to understand how the 17-year-old, who had a promising future and an intense connection to his girlfriend, could have killed their son as deputies watched helplessly.

March 03, 2011|By Robert Faturechi and Alexandra Zavis, Los Angeles Times
  • An aerial photo shows where 17-year-old Christopher Earl Glass crashed and fled from deputies in Palmdale. They found his 5-month-old son dead inside the vehicle with multiple stab wounds.
An aerial photo shows where 17-year-old Christopher Earl Glass crashed… (KTLA )

Even for high school sweethearts, friends say, they were intense. They seemed to spend every moment together — and when they were apart, he could peer at the tattoo on his arm for a constant reminder: Avion, her name.

They were juniors when she got pregnant, friends said. When the baby came, she updated her Facebook page: "My Son Is Finally Here." He followed suit on Twitter: "G0t A S0N He My W0Rld."

Still, some classmates said they sensed trouble. "He liked her a lot. Too much," one friend said of 17-year-old Christopher Earl Glass.

Detectives and friends were still trying to piece together Wednesday how their story came to its chilling conclusion, with Glass stabbing their 5-month-old baby to death in his car as deputies pursued close behind, unable to intervene. Minutes later, authorities said, deputies chased the teen down, and when he charged them with knife in hand, they shot him dead.

Friends described Glass as quiet — a star basketball player, generous friend and devoted boyfriend, not someone they thought could be capable of such an act.

The chain of events began before noon Tuesday when Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies received a call reporting a child abduction. Investigators learned that Chris Jr. had been taken from his baby-sitter. Chris was texting Avion, threatening to hurt the baby, sheriff's officials said.

An Amber Alert went out. Four hours later, deputies came across Glass' vehicle. They turned on their lights and flipped the siren when he refused to pull over, sheriff's officials said.

From their patrol car, the deputies saw Glass' hand clenching a kitchen knife, his arm jutting up and down over the passenger's seat where the baby was, investigators said.

"What can you do there?" said homicide Lt. John Corina. "Besides having a sniper take this person out, which is totally unrealistic, there's just nothing you can do in that situation."

Glass' car crashed. Deputies found the baby inside the mangled vehicle, with multiple knife wounds.

They chased Glass down to an occupied Palmdale home he had broken into. As deputies approached, the teen came at them holding a knife, and he was fatally shot, said sheriff's homicide Lt. Nick Tippings. More knives were found in his car, authorities said.

Neither Glass nor Avion still attended Highland High in Palmdale. Avion left as her pregnancy advanced, and Glass left after a fight with a student, friends said. Still, on Wednesday, students there were in disbelief and rumors swirled.

Basketball coach Jeff Smith said Glass was the team's MVP last year, and would have been bound for all-league for a second consecutive year if he had stayed at the school.

"I had just seen him the day before and we were talking about his options for junior college and places to play basketball," Smith said. "He seemed normal to me. … He was talking about how big his son was getting."

His future looked bright, teammates said.

"He was getting looked at by Division I colleges," said Steven Mopsikoff, 16. "He was going to be something."

Glass' cousin declined comment Wednesday, and messages to Avion went unanswered.

Friends suspected something was wrong when they checked Glass' Facebook page Tuesday. Four friends interviewed by The Times said Glass had posted threats that he'd hurt himself and the baby. The messages, they said, had been taken down by the next day.

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