LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A father has come forward to share his story about a journey to try to save his son from cancer and what he calls a promise from Nathan Chasing Horse.
“We were under the impression that this man could save our son,” Jason Smith told the 8 News Now Investigators.
Justice Smith-Hilton played hockey, was a champion dancer and had been raised immersed in his culture attending Pow Wows and ceremonies.
At 13 years old, Justice was diagnosed with leukemia, according to Smith.
“I just remember hearing those words and then having to look at his mom and him and they broke down,” Smith said.
Justice underwent chemotherapy for 18 months and while it appeared to treat the leukemia, it also caused complications, according to Smith.
“He struggled,” Smith said.
The family then turned to Chasing Horse. The “Dances with Wolves” actor claims that he is a Medicine Man.
In early 2020, the family drove from the Toronto area where they live to southern Nevada where Chasing Horse and his several wives have resided.
Smith said that he gave Chasing Horse and his wives food and gifts, and Chasing Horse performed what is referred to as a dark room ceremony.
“To us, it was very powerful,” Smith said. He told the 8 News Now Investigators that Justice was in high hopes.
“He was excited. He was looking forward to the future,” he said.
Smith said his family later learned that Chasing Horse would want them to return for three more phases of his so-called treatment which included herbal drinks, what he claimed were natural antibiotics, and “Phoenix Tears” which he claimed were the highest form of cannabis to help manage pain.
“It’s something like a doctor, you put your faith in,” Smith said.
During the fourth phase though, Smith said Justice appeared to be deteriorating. While Chasing Horse had claimed that the cancer was leaving the teen’s body, Smith said he still had questions. When he asked Chasing Horse if his treatment was actually working, Smith told the 8 News Now Investigators that he was shocked at his answer.
“He responded with a threat and he said he was going to take the cancer out of my son and put it in my left testicle,” Smith recalled.
Four months after the family turned to Chasing Horse, Justice took his final breath.
“It’s devastating to lose a child under those circumstances. There really is no words for it,” Smith said.
On Jan. 30., Chasing Horse, 46, was arrested at his North Las Vegas home on charges including sexual assault and sex trafficking. He is accused of victimizing indigenous children and women for two decades while traveling throughout the United States and Canada for Pow Wows and ceremonies. Chasing Horse is also the head of an alleged cult known as “The Circle,” according to Las Vegas Metro Police.
On Feb. 22, an indictment by a grand jury was announced in Clark County for 19 charges. This includes 10 counts of sexual assault against a minor under the age of 16, six counts of sexual assault, along with open and gross lewdness, first-degree kidnapping of a minor, and trafficking in a controlled substance.
Chasing Horse faces federal charges along with warrants in Montana and Canada. He also has previously been banned from several Native American reservations.
Smith told 8 News Now Investigators that he believes his family was targeted so that Chasing Horse could try to groom his two daughters. While he said that Chasing Horse was never alone with the girls, he said that Chasing Horse had disappeared with his son for hours at least twice toward the end of the teen’s life.
“It was questionable. I’m not sure what would happen on these trips,” Smith said.
Smith said that he believes Chasing Horse should be held accountable for taking away his son’s chance at life, and also remain behind bars.
Chasing Horse has not posted the $300,000 bail previously set for his release. He remains in custody at the Clark County Detention Center in downtown Las Vegas.
Chasing Horse has declined all media requests for interviews, according to Las Vegas Metro Police.
The next scheduled date for the criminal case in Clark County is set for March 1.