An Army veteran is accused of murdering and then decapitating his mother with a butter knife and his teeth.
Terrelle Johnson, 29, an Army vet who was expelled by the Department of Veterans Affairs after a prior arrest, has reportedly admitted to the murder and decapitation of his 51-year-old mother, Sherry Johnson.
During a June 7 questioning, Johnson allegedly admitted to the murder, telling authorities that he had "beat her up real bad" after he got into an argument with his mother, a guidance counselor at Hattiesburg High School, over credit cards.
After choking his mother until she stopped breathing, he claimed that he used a butter knife, as well as his hands and teeth, to decapitate her before taking her body to the backyard.
Sherry Johnson's body was discovered in the backyard of the Stone County, Mississippi home that she shared with her son on June 6 after her siblings, two brothers and one sister, called police and requested that they perform a welfare check. They told authorities that they had not heard from Johnson since June 3, according to the Sun Herald.
When sheriff's Capt. Ray Boggs arrived to the scene, Johnson was sitting on the front porch and claimed that his mother was out with a friend. However, when Boggs entered a bedroom in the house, the walls, floor, and bed were coated in blood.
"When I entered the bedroom," Boggs said during a preliminary hearing on Wednesday, "I immediately noticed blood everywhere."
Boggs then discovered Johnson's headless body in the backyard and her head roughly 15 feet away, and authorities took Johnson into custody.
As he entered court on Wednesday for his preliminary hearing, he reportedly shouted "I done it" as he passed by reporters and TV station cameras.
The case is now being sent to a grand jury, which will decide whether Terrelle Johnson should be formally charged with first-degree murder and tried in Circuit Court. His attorney, Jim Davis, is now reportedly weighing the option of using an insanity defense.
"[Johnson] does have a substantial history, and y'all heard the facts of this particular case," Davis said, according to the New York Post. "That's not a normal homicide … [but] we've got to wait until we get the records and probably have him properly evaluated. Then, we'll kind of know where we're headed."0comments
Davis said that it will take time to acquire and analyze Johnson's hospital records and mental health status.
Photo credit: Stone County Correctional Facility