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An Army veteran from Mississippi has been charged with murder after investigators say he confessed to decapitating his mother using a butter knife, as well as his teeth and hands.
Terrelle Johnson, 29, appeared in court on Wednesday for a preliminary hearing, which concluded with a judge deciding that there was enough evidence to send the case to a grand jury.
Johnson is accused of brutally murdering and beheading his mother, 51-year-old high school guidance counselor Sherry Johnson, and dumping her head and body in their backyard, where her remains were discovered on June 6.
Ruthless slaying: Terrelle Johnson, 29 (left), is accused of decapitating his mother, 51-year-old Sherry Johnson (right), using a knife, his teeth and hands
Bloody crime scene: Deputies discovered the mother and son's home in Stone County, Mississippi (pictured), covered in blood
Stone County Sheriff's Capt. Ray Boggs said Terrelle had been telling his aunts and uncles, who were concerned for Sherry's well-being after not hearing from her for several days, that she had gone one a cruise.
Deputies who were asked to check on Sherry found her mutilated body outside her home near Wiggins on June 6.
Stone County Coroner Wayne Flurry says the remains had been there several days.
Sherry had worked at Hattiesburg High School as a counselor since 2014.
During Wednesday's court hearing, Capt Boggs described how he arrived at a brick home on Johnson Road in Stone County to perform the welfare check and found Terrelle sitting on the front porch, reported The Sun Herald.
When asked about his mother's whereabouts, the 29-year-old reportedly said that she had gone somewhere with a friend, but Boggs asked if he could take a look inside the residence.
'I done it': As he was being led into the courthouse, Johnson yelled out, 'I done it'
Petty argument: Johnson (left) told deputies he and his mother (right) got into an argument over credit cards, which he said got out of hand
Terrelle had told his concerned relatives that his mother had gone on a cruise
‘When I entered the bedroom, I immediately noticed blood everywhere,’ Boggs told the court.
He said there was blood spatter on the bed, the floor and even the walls, but there was no sign of Sherry.
Boggs then went into the backyard and came upon the woman’s headless body. Her head was located 15 feet away.
During a videotaped interview with investigators, Terrelle reportedly confessed to killing his mother during a heated argument over credit cards, which he said got out of hand.
The son told officials that he beat up the 51-year-old woman, choked her until she stopped breathing, then sawed off her head using a knife butter and used his bare hands and teeth to rip off her head.
The 29-year-old explained that he disposed of the remains outside so the house would not smell bad.
Johnson attended the hearing dressed in an orange jumpsuit. He sat with his head down and did not speak during the proceedings, but on his way inside the courthouse he yelled out, 'I done it' and ‘I plead guilty.’
Sherry (left and right) was a single mother and worked as a high school guidance counselor. She and Terrelle's father, a Baptist minister, never married
His father, a Baptist minister, was in the audience during the hearing. He and Terrelle's mother never married.
Boggs said the sheriff's department was familiar with Terrelle Johnson from previous calls to the house where he lived with his mother, although he did not specify if those reports involved domestic violence.
He also said that Terrell, who in his younger days served in the US Army, had been expelled from the Department of Veterans Affairs because of a previous arrest.
Defense attorney Jim Davis indicated that his client had a history of mental health problems, reported WJTV.
A grand jury will now decide whether to indict Johnson on a charge of first-degree murder and send the case to trial.
PTSD is a horrible diagnosis he must have showing sign of illness before all this happen
Just get rid of him. The Afro community cannot tolerate this kind of satanic behavior....
WOW....at 29, he should be able to support himself.
THAT S. O. B. WHY DID'NT HE GO AND GET A CARD OF HIS OWN, AND LEAVE HIS MOTHER ALONE. THAT WORTHLESS GOOD FOR NOTHING.
PTSD is real! Damn!
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