PARIS, Ill. (WTHI) - The situation outside a Wabash Valley courthouse quickly turned ugly after opposing sides of a murder case nearly come to blows.
People streamed from an Edgar County courtroom by the dozen Thursday morning. Most coming in support of the defendant in the murder trial , Terry Payton, 16, not the victim, his mother Kathie Payton.
Kathie Payton, 53, was killed in her Paris, Illinois, duplex Thursday.
Terry spoke for the first time publicly Wednesday.
"Thank you all for your continued support," said Terry as he got into the back of a patrol car.
That support is what has his aunt, Jan Burno, so upset.
"My sister is a victim and for these people to say that somehow murder is justified, I'm here to represent my family and to represent this," said Burno.
Moments later, words were exchanged with a crowd number about 50 people gathered on the courthouse lawn.
"He's not a bad kid," yelled one teen.
"Oh he's a good kid, alright," countered Burno. "He slaughtered my sister."
Burno believes violent video games and encouragement from friends led to her sister's murder.
But, for the crowd gathered, they believe it was child abuse.
"I loved my nephew," said Burno. "Until he has remorse, he's not insane. He knew exactly what he he was doing."
Before sheriff's deputies can break it up, there even appears to be a threat on Burno's life.
"Don't even come back to his next court appearance," said one teen.
"I'll be back," responded Burno. "I will be back."
"In the same exact f------ position," countered the teen.
Burno has spent the last few days cleaning up the apartment.
"She has 'I love you' posted on every room of the house, with a little smiley face saying 'please do this' or 'lock the door' trying to reason with her," said Burno.
But others like Terry's half-sister Sabrina Cooley have a different story. She believes Terry acted in self-defense.
"He just tried to protect himself," said Cooley. "She's crazy. His mom is absolutely crazy. I don't have a good word to say about her. Sorry."
Inside court, Terry's public defender L. Kaye DeSelms Dent made two motions on Terry's behalf, both involving a court-appointed psychiatrist. The first is a request to determine if Terry he can be found not guilty by reason of insanity. The second to see if Terry's fit to stand trial because of an alleged social disorder.
But outside court, proceedings bear no resemblance to law and order.
"What is going on here is madness," said Burno. "It's insanity. This has to stop. He's the one on trial, not my sister."
Terry is due back in court Tuesday afternoon where the state attorney and the public defender will argue the motions before the judge.
Terry's supporters had a special fundraising meeting after court at a nearby park. They have sign-up sheets for an upcoming bake sale, yard sale, teen night, benefit dinner, auction and poker run.
There is also a Facebook group with more than 600 members entitled "Support Terry Payton."
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