Kit Darrant struggled with typical teenaged angst, squabbling frequently with his mother, taking her car without permission, smoking marijuana and drinking.
Then, there were the flashes of bizarre behavior.
One time, the North Miami-Dade youngster grew so angry with his mother that he jumped out of their moving car, tumbling to the pavement, throwing his hands up and daring oncoming traffic to hit him, his aunt told police. Darrant spent a week in the hospital undergoing treatment for his injuries and mental health.
“He didn’t really want to live,” his aunt, who witnessed the episode, told police in a sworn statement. “He said he got nothing to live for.”
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Then sometime around March 26, the 16-year-old Darrant got into an argument with his mother, Renette Emile, 35, after he came home late. In his bedroom, he paced for 15 or 20 minutes, contemplating suicide. “Then the thought came into my head after the argument that my mother should not be alive anymore,” Darrant told police, according to his statement.
After strangling her and stabbing her over 100 times with a butcher knife, Darrant covered her body up with sheets and blankets, police say.
Then, for more than a week he partied, shopped, skipped school, and took care of his 3-year-old brother, all this while his mother’s decaying body lay on the floor of her bedroom under a pile of blankets. He kept sprinkling the body with Gain detergent powder to try to keep down the smell.
A Miami-Dade grand jury has indicted Darrant on a charge of premeditated first-degree murder, punishable by up to life in prison. He has pleaded not guilty. His defense attorney declined to comment.
The gruesome details of the prosecution’s case is laid out in newly released police and medical reports, sworn statements and excerpts of Darrant’s confession.
Darrant, a sophomore who wanted to be a firefighter, attended Michael Krop Senior High, and lived with his mother and his 3-year-old half-brother in an apartment at the Jade Winds apartment complex, in the 1700 block of Northeast 191st Street.
He lived briefly with his father in Naples, and did not want to return to Miami where he claimed he had “no friends.” But, he did return when his father got deported to Haiti.
Here, Darrant chafed against the authority of his mother, who was in school to be a nurse and worked as a security guard. “You know, I think she was doing a good job. She was doing the best that she can for him,” said his aunt, Rena Emile.
Darrant’s girlfriend told police: “He just told me he and his mom had been fighting since the day he was born.”
A few years after he hurled himself from the car, Rena Emile said, a teetering Darrant showed up at her doorstep one day with a bag filled with empty alcohol bottles.
‘STARING AT ME’
“It was about nine big bottles. Grey Goose, Absolut, Alizé, he drank all of them. He was 15,” she said. “He didn’t want to talk about why he drank all the alcohol. He was just staring at me.”
She had him shower and put him to bed.
Darrant rebelled often. He was suspended from school, and arrested twice for trespassing in 2010. He told his aunt that he would break into houses to have a place to smoke marijuana.
After his last arrest, Darrant entered a counseling program for troubled teens. When he finished late last year, his aunt recalled he told her something ominous: “I’m going to kill myself or I’m going to kill her this time,’’ Emile remembered him saying. “He thought she didn’t love him, that she would do anything to get rid of him.”
She witnessed her sister beat Kit from the time he was a toddler, using a belt or an extension cord.
“He would tell me my sister beat on him bad. Really bad. Like how they beat kids in Haiti. Like how my mom used to beat us,” she said. “I would tell her that’s not right.”
Still, friends and family did not believe that Darrant would explode into such a spasm of violence.
“He was like a normal person. He makes people laugh. He’s sweet,” one friend told police.
On March 26, Renette Emil’s boyfriend, Eric Monestime, told police she called 911 to report that her son had taken her car.
Sometime in the next few days, Darrant got home late and his mother argued with him for 10 minutes, he told police. Afterward, he retreated to his room.
“I paced around in my room for 20 minutes thinking,” he said.
“What were you thinking?” asked Miami-Dade homicide Detective Raul Godoy.
According to an arrest report, Darrant “came to the conclusion” to strangle his mother. He entered her bedroom. His 3-year-old brother normally slept with his mother, but it was unclear where the toddler was during the slaying.
Darrant “got behind her and put her into a chokehold. As the two struggled, both fell to the floor and continued struggling until the mother made a gurgling or snoring sound and “she went limp,” according to a medical examiner’s report.
Because she was still alive, Darrant fetched a knife from the kitchen and stabbed her in the back of the neck. She was still alive. He rolled her over and continued stabbing, the report said.
A neighbor heard the struggle and two screams from a woman.
“She just say ‘ Anmwe! Anmwe!” the neighbor told police of Renette Emile’s screams in Creole. “That means like, ‘help! Help!’ ”
The neighbor picked up her phone to call 911, but ultimately did not.
According to the medical examiner’s report, Darrant rinsed off the blade, returned the knife to the kitchen drawer and took a bath. The next morning, he drove to school but came back within the hour, rousting his little brother from bed. He fed him and put on video games.
As Renette Emile’s body began to decompose, Darrant heaped blankets on top of it, sprinkling the corpse with Gain detergent powder.
Though he didn’t know how to drive very well, he began picking up pals in his mom’s Mercedes-Benz, his baby brother strapped in the back seat.
The fact that he had his mom’s car had friends suspicious.
“I know for a fact his mom would not leave the keys for him to drive,” one friend said.
Darrant told friends his mother had left town. He drew more suspicion when he showed off new clothes he had bought.
“He seemed calm, as usual,” said one friend who visited the apartment and commented on the smell. “He acted like he didn’t know what it was.”
His aunt and Monestime kept calling, but Darrant insisted his mother could not come to the phone and was unavailable, according to their statements.
Darrant planned a get-together, at his mother’s apartment for that Friday.
“He was like, ‘I’m going to bring so many girls,’ and stuff — like I don’t know why he would do something at a place where his dead mom is,” a friend named Michael said.
Some 50 or 60 people, mostly Krop students, crowded the apartment. Darrant opened his mother’s liquor bottles.
Because of all the noise, his baby brother began to cry. When one partygoer complained about the stench, he remembers Darrant saying: “Chill. It’s probably the trash or dishes or something. He laughed about it.”
At one point, a teen named Daniel walked into the dead woman’s bedroom to get to the balcony to make a phone call. He noticed a pile of blankets on the floor.
“As I walked by, I kicked something, but it felt — it didn’t really feel like blankets, but it didn’t feel like a human body. It was kind of firm.”
It was not until the following Wednesday — some eight days after the stabbing — that Renette Emile’s suspicious sister and boyfriend finally entered the apartment with police and security and found the decomposing body.
While they were there, Darrant returned and asked immediately: “What’s going on? What’s wrong? Where’s my mother?”
He claimed he had not seen her in three or four days, Miami-Dade Officer John Jones wrote in a report.
‘ALL CUT UP’
His story changed a few minutes later.
“OK, this is what happened. About eight days ago, I returned home and found my mother on the floor in the room. She was all cut up and bleeding. Blood was gushing from her face and there was glass all over the floor. I wrapped her up in blankets and then put soap on her because of the smell.”
Darrant said he had no idea who would have done this to his mother. He didn’t want to bother with police and he didn’t want any trouble, he said.
A few hours later, he gave detectives a confession.
Miami Herald staff writer Nadege Green contributed to this report.