PARIS, Ill. (WTHI) - Illinois teen Terry Payton, 16, faces two counts of murder after he's charged with killing his mother. Payton faces up to 120 years behind bars. His mother, Kathie Payton, 53, of Paris, Illinois, was found dead in her home June 23.
Payton appeared in an Edgar County Courtroom late Monday afternoon. Friends told News 10 Terry acted in self defense, coming out in his defense with about 50 people at his initial court appearance.
Payton had nothing to say as he left the courtroom covering his face with his hands, with his wrists and ankles in handcuffs.
Minutes earlier, Judge Garst told Payton he would face two charges of 1st degree murder for stabbing his mother with a knife in their Paris home.
Payton was also told he would be prosecuted as an adult, meaning if convicted, he faces anywhere from 20 to 60 years on each count.
Jacob Schumaker said he was the last person to talk with Terry on Thursday. Schumaker told News 10 that Terry came to him not knowing what to do. Schumaker said Terry told Schumaker that Kathie came at Terry with a knife. Schumaker said Terry's Facebook messages that included comments like "I'm a monster" and "About to do the hardest thing I probably will have to do in my life. Wish me luck," were comments made after Kathie was dead and refer to Terry's decision to turn himself in.
"To the people who believe Terry Payton is a monster, to the people who believe he is the worst person ever, you are wrong," said Schumaker. "He has a heart. He is one of the nicest people I ever met in my life."
Payton stood tall in front of the judge and answered the judge's questions in a clear voice Monday. But at times, Terry did appear to be visibly upset and overcome with tears, including when he was driven away from the courthouse.
Payton was assigned a public defender. He is currently staying at a juvenile detention facility in Danville, Illinois. Judge Garst set bond at $500,000 with 10 percent allowed.
Payton is due back in court Thursday at 9 a.m. It will be his first time in court with his assigned public defender.
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