One of her brothers,
Unless Johnson "willfully" killed his mother, he could under state law inherit her estate and be awarded the insurance proceeds.
Is he insane?
Johnson confessed within hours of the murder, according to Stone County Sheriff's Capt.
"He said it got out of hand," Boggs testified.
Her body and head were found on property surrounding her tidy brick home on
Insanity could be Johnson's defense, his
If Johnson is convicted of first-degree murder, he will not collect the money because the charge involves a willful or premeditated killing. However, an insanity defense, or a conviction or guilty plea to manslaughter, means under state law that the killing was not willful and Johnson could collect the money.
Davis has not settled on a defense.
"We're still in the early stages," he told the
A lack of mental capacity could lead to a not-guilty verdict or a finding of manslaughter, Davis said.
Davis said in court filings that Johnson's "delusional history" dates to his earlier days in the military.
A psychiatrist has examined Johnson for the defense. Her full evaluation is sealed in the court file, but Davis quotes her in one of his motions in the estate case:
"Regarding his competency to proceed, it is my opinion with reasonable medical certainty that due to his mental illness
"His thought disorganization prevents him from being able to testify relevantly or be cross-examined. He cannot focus on the topic and he has problems with his perception of reality. It is my recommendation to the court that
A troubled history
Johnson also has a history of hospitalizations for mental problems and of violent disputes with his mother, records from court and the
He was arrested three times in 2015 on multiple misdemeanor charges -- domestic violence, assault, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and marijuana possession -- after his mother called deputies for help. He also was charged with assault on a police officer in one incident.
The first time officers were called, Johnson had gotten mad when his mother told him to turn off the TV, an incident report says.
He balled his hands into fists and asked, "What you goin' to do?" Fearful, his mother summoned help. Deputies tried to calm him, the offense report says, but wound up stunning him with a Taser after he charged them. Once shocked, he was handcuffed and taken to jail.
Four days later, deputies were back.
Johnson fought deputies trying to handcuff him, the report says. They used a stun gun four times, then hit Johnson with a baton before they were able to subdue him and, once again, take him to jail.
He was in Stone County jail on
Stubbs is representing himself in the civil lawsuit. He is seeking a total
He was transferred to jail in
Johnson was free and in his mother's house in
"She asked him to get out of her room but he got even more erratic and belligerent," a report on the incident says. "Terelle was threatening to hurt her and told her he was warning her. She told him she was not going to give him her keys nor her credit cards.
"Terelle stated this his (sic) house. Terelle is very violent. He was going through her things looking for keys."
The report says he was arrested again for domestic violence but also that a deputy gave Johnson a ride to a friend's house for the night "until things calmed down."
The last time deputies showed up at the Johnson home, relatives requested a welfare check because they had not seen or heard from
Knowing him well, deputies searched the house. Boggs said the walls and bed in
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