GISELLE MORCH + BROOKS WARREN
Too many times in our community, and especially the black community, we often say, “I don’t want my mother to bury me". "I don’t want to leave this earth with unmet potential.” And too many times, those words fall on deaf ears. Those words become unfulfilled promises remembered by the surviving family. Those words stay with his mother, Giselle, and his friend Brooks.
We are just a small part of this tragic family impacted by unfulfilled promises. These unfulfilled promises are now a part of our dear son, brother, uncle and friend, Jon-Christian aka Jaycee aka Penny. We lost Jaycee in his own home at the age of 20, on July 19th, 2017, surrounded by his family in a robbery gone wrong, passing a violent death by the hands of people he didn’t know.
Jaycee was by no means a perfect man, but he lived life as a man of character, a man of faith, a man who valued his friends and accountability. He went through many transformations, or as his mother put it, Jaycee is like a butterfly. The shedding of his skin comes with his plethora of nicknames, and the growth that comes with each one. He grew from smiling animal-loving toddler to a comedian, the entertaining athlete, a defender for those who can’t defend themselves. To the charming, respectful, entrepreneurial young man with an unbreakable will and unshakable faith in Allah and his teachings.
The death of a friend and son affects so many. Brooks remembers the night vividly. Giselle and Brooks were both working a bible study camp that week Jaycee died. Brooks told Giselle to tell Jaycee, hi. The rest of the night felt restless for Brooks, unable to shake off a weird feeling all night. He got into arguments with friends he never fought with, and couldn’t sleep at all. When he received the text that Jaycee was dead, he was shocked, unable to process the thought of his friend being dead. The rest of the week was a blur, no longer would Brooks see that illuminating smile, or be able to talk with him over basketball. Brooks finally broke down and cried the day of the funeral, crying as the rain fell that day, in front of his own family.
Giselle and her family were in the house when Jaycee was murdered. She ran after her son’s killer, yelling out “murderer” at them, while her family was in the house trying to save Jaycee. A towel stained with Jaycee’s blood, the wooden bedroom flooring dug out during the police’s murder investigation. The memory of the day is seared in their memory. All they seek now is justice from a broken judicial system for Jaycee Webster.
Giselle and Brooks, Mother and Friend