PARIS, Ill. (WTHI) - Testimony began Thursday in the trial of a Paris, Ill. teen accused of stabbing his mother to death in June 2011.
Terry Payton is charged with two counts of murder in the death of his mother, Kathie Payton.
In a recorded police interview with Payton played for the jury, the teen told authorities that he and his mother had been arguing for several hours on the day of the stabbing. That argument involved a phone call to police, allegations on Ms. Payton's part that Terry Payton had taken several hundred dollars from her, and concern on Terry Payton's part about his mother's use of alcohol, according to Payton's recorded statement.
The argument culminated early in the afternoon, when Terry Payton poured a bottle of his mother's alcohol down a drain, Terry told police in the recorded interview. Terry Payton said the fight turned physical, and that he stabbed his mother while defending himself, then panicked.
Around 6:00 p.m., Payton went to the Paris Police Department and told them what had happened, authorities said.
In his opening statement, prosecutor Mark Isaf said he intends to prove Terry Payton was not justified in his attack against his mother. Isaf went on to describe the seven stab wounds Ms. Payton suffered, along with an injury to her skull. He said after the fight, Terry Payton went on to visit a nearby Walmart and McDonalds, but did not call for an ambulance to care for his mother.
Isaf said he also plans to prove that Kathie Payton was not standing up at the time of the attack.
In his opening statement, defense attorney Robert McIntire told jurors he planned to tell them "the rest of the story." He said his evidence will show "Terry Payton killed his mother because he had to."
McInire said Kathie Payton attacked her son. He said after Terry Payton subdued Kathie Payton by knocking her to the ground, the woman reached up toward a cabinet that contained a large knife and threatened to kill her son. McIntire said the teen responded by grabbing a smaller knife and stabbing his mother over a matter of seconds.
Jurors heard testimony from two Paris police officers who first responded to the case. They also heard from and Illinois State Police Crime Scene Investigator who testified that, in the kitchen in which Kathie Payton was stabbed, he found no blood drops high in the room, and that most of blood-like stains he found were closer to the floor.
Jurors were also shown text messages sent from Terry Payton's iPod Touch, including one that read "I killed el Madre and I need help getting rid of the body. At around 2 we got into a fight and my dark half surged out and I stabbed her 7 times after mercilessly beating … her."
Jurors also saw video of Terry Payton's first interview with police.
In the interview, he told them "If I didn't do what I did, she probably would have killed me."
The trial is expected to continue into next week.
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