An army veteran accused of beheading his mother with a butter knife, his teeth and his bare hands may never stand trial for the crime.
Terelle Johnson, 30, reportedly admitted killing school counsellor Sherry Johnson, 51, at their home in Stone County, Mississippi, in June 2018.
He told local newspaper the Mississippi Sun-Herald: “I plead guilty. I done it.”
Johnson is due to be arraigned on a first-degree murder charge this week. But state officials have now ordered a psychological evaluation to decide whether or not he is fit to stand trial for the killing.
Johnson’s attorney, Jim Davis told the Sun-Herald his client has a history of mental illness and had been treated at facilities “numerous times” before his mother’s killing
The lawyer added: “Do you think a reasonable person would grant television interviews and start telling reporters…giving comments that are definitely not in their best interest?”
If Johnson is declared unfit to stand trial, he will be transferred to a psychiatric hospital. Prosecutors will then be updated of his condition once every 60 days, and may decide to pursue a court case at a later date if he improves, Metro UK reports.
Davis said that Johnson is being housed in the solitary confinement unit of the jail where he is being held.
He explained: “All the guards tell me he’s doing just fine, but I question that a little bit because he’s still in solitary confinement and they don’t want him around any other inmates.”
Johnson reportedly bit off another inmate’s nose and lips while being held in Stone County Jail on a separate charge.