EDGAR COUNTY, Ill. (WTHI) - Edgar County native Terry Payton, now 18 years old, has never spoken to the media until now. Out of jail for who knows how long, Payton and his small army of advocates are working to get him spared the years he could serve in prison for the murder of his own mother.
"Right now (I’m) just trying to get a job -- trying to get something to get me into some sense of normalcy. You know, get some money and all that,” Payton told News 10 exclusively on Tuesday afternoon. "I would just like to get this (second degree murder conviction) overturned -- my named cleared, and be able to go on and live as close to a normal life as I possibly can and put all of this -- all of this behind me!"
VIDEO | Full Interview with Terry Payton
What’s behind him, according to friends, supporters and advocates, is a life-long legacy of abuse at the hands of his own mother, the woman Payton was convicted of killing just this past spring.
Victim Kathie Payton was a an addict and alcoholic who tortured Terry Payton the whole 16 years she knew him, according to friend and activist Adonna Bennett, of Paris, Ill.
"He testified in court that he had never saw (SIC) her sober,” Bennett told News 10. "She would threaten to cut his legs off, or slit his throat; she told him that day she was going to kill him for sure!"
"In these rough times, I couldn't have done it without you guys,” Payton thanked his supporters.
Still, it was a tragic set of circumstances and “there have to be consequences,” said Mark Isaf, Edgar County’s state’s attorney.
Isaf explained the state of Illinois is moving forward to sentence this still convicted killer. He said Payton faces anywhere from 4 to 20 years in prison, with the possibility of probation.
On Friday circuit court Judge Steve Garst denied a motion to sentence Payton under the Juvenile Court Act, denied a motion to overturn Payton’s conviction, and also denied granting Payton a new trial.
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