‘Just one more kiss, Mama, just one more time,’ little Ella had pleaded to her mummy before she’d left.
On the other hand, Paris had been angry with his mother, who’d told him off for blowing all his pocket money at the mall.
‘I know you’re mad at me, but we’ll get through this,’ she told Paris, kissing him.
After the film, sleepy Ella went to bed, while Paris did some homework in his room.
Then, just after midnight, three cops turned up at Charity’s work with devastating news – her precious daughter was hurt.
‘You need to take me to Ella now!’ Charity pleaded.
‘We can’t… she’s dead,’ the officer said.
It made no sense.
Ella should’ve been safe at home with the babysitter and her big brother…
‘Is my son okay?’ Charity asked.
‘We have him,’ the cop replied.
That’s when Charity’s world imploded.
They told her that her son – Ella’s loving big brother – had brutally murdered his little sister.
A couple of hours earlier, the unusually gifted teen – who had an IQ of 141, qualifying him as a genius
– had convinced the 21-year-old babysitter to go home.
Grabbing a knife from the kitchen, he’d calmly walked into Ella’s bedroom where she was sleeping.
Horrifyingly, he beat and choked his baby sister, and brutally stabbed her 17 times.
Later, police discovered semen on Ella’s bed and inside the shorts that Paris was wearing that night.
The teen then called a friend who he spoke to normally for six minutes, before finally hanging up and dialling emergency services.
‘I accidentally killed somebody,’ Paris told the operator, his voice shaking.
‘You think you killed somebody?’ the operator asked him.
‘No, I know I did! I feel so messed up,’ he replied.
Chillingly, then Paris confessed to stabbing his little sister.
‘Where’d you stab her?’ the operator asked.
‘Lots of places,’ the baby-faced killer admitted.
Down the line, the dispatcher told Paris how to do CPR.
‘One, two, three, four…’ he counted, as he pretended to do chest compressions.
Instead, he’d walked out of the room.
So what possessed Paris, who’d always adored sweet, sassy Ella, to commit such a heinous crime? According to the New York Post, Paris told police that he’d woken up wanting to kill someone.
Initially, he’d planned to kill Ella, then stab his mum when she got home from work.
His motive: to punish his mum for her drug use.
It all started before Paris had even been born.
When Charity was six, her dad Bobby was found shot dead
Initially, Charity’s mum was a suspect but she was later acquitted.
The ordeal took its toll, and Charity turned to heroin as a teen to cope.
Kicking the habit in uni, she was still plagued by cravings and had even considered suicide.
But falling pregnant with Paris changed everything – it saved Charity’s life.
However, when her son was 11, Charity relapsed on cocaine for six months, leaving him to look after his sister.
‘I know it had an impact on him. It’s the one thing, that huge regret I wish I could go back and change,’ she told the San Antonio Current.
But it was too late – Paris was scarred by his mum’s drug use, and he decided death was too lenient a punishment for her.
‘If he’d killed me, I only would have suffered for five, 10, 15 minutes. But, if he left me alive without Ella,
I would suffer for the rest of my life,’ Charity said, explaining her son’s thinking.
Paris was arrested, and a fortnight later, Charity came face to face with him at the District Attorney’s office.
‘You used to say that you would never be able to kill anybody unless they hurt one of your kids,’ he said.
‘I bet you didn’t think it was going to turn out like this.’
How could anyone?
It was a parent’s worst nightmare.
Six months on, Paris Lee Bennett pleaded guilty to capital murder and was sentenced to 40 years in jail.
In time, Charity started The ELLA Foundation, a non-profit to prevent violence.
Twelve years on, incredibly, Charity has not only forgiven her firstborn for what he did – she still loves him.
But that doesn’t mean she’s not petrified of her psychopath son, now 25, who is up for parole in 2027.
And she has good reason to be.
In 2013, she gave birth to another son, Phoenix, now six, whose name aptly symbolises a new beginning.
And while Charity, 45, regularly visits Paris behind bars, she’s thankful the prison won’t allow visitors under 17.
‘If Paris wasn’t in prison or was able to meet Phoenix, I’d have to do a lot more soul-searching,’ she said.
Recently, she told journalist Piers Morgan she was afraid that if Paris was released, he may try to kill her or Phoenix.
‘It astounds me the fact that she can still love me and care for me and stand by me,’ Paris said in the same documentary, Psychopath.
A mother’s love truly knows no bounds. ●