It was a confession that cops in Stone County, Mississippi, will likely never forget.
On the morning of June 7, local deputies questioned 29-year-old Terrelle Johnson about the gruesome death of his mother, Sherry Johnson, who was found decapitated in the backyard of the home they shared.
Capt. Ray Boggs, of the Stone County Sheriff’s Department, was inside the interrogation room and recounted what was said that day during a preliminary hearing Wednesday in Justice Court.
“[Johnson] told me that he beat her up real bad,” Boggs testified, according to The Sun Herald.
“He said it got out of hand.”
Using a butter knife, Johnson allegedly sliced his mother’s throat and then used his teeth and bare hands to remove her head. He claimed to have choked her unconscious first during a fight over credit cards, Boggs said.
When cops arrived at the Johnson home on June 6 — to conduct a “welfare” check on Sherry at the request of her two brothers and sister, who hadn’t heard from the 51-year-old since June 3 — they walked in to find a grisly scene.
According to him, there was blood on the the floor, the bed, and even the walls.
Johnson was home at the time and calmly sitting on the front porch when deputies arrived, Boggs said.
Cops eventually found his mother in the backyard — laying approximately 15 feet from her severed head, which was tossed over a fence. Deputies arrested Johnson and took him in for questioning. Crime scene workers completed their investigation the following morning, and the interrogation began soon after.
Johnson — an Army vet who was expelled by the Department of Veterans Affairs after a prior arrest — allegedly confessed to everything, though it’s unclear when his mother’s murder took place. A grand jury must now decide whether he should be formally charged.
Johnson’s lawyer, Jim Davis, told reporters on Wednesday that he is currently weighing the possibility of an insanity defense. He just needs to see take time to analyze the young man’s hospital records and mental health status to see what evidence, if any, he has.
“[Johnson] does have a substantial history, and ya’ll heard the facts of this particular case,” Davis said. “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.”
By CHRIS PEREZ