A Mississippi sheriff testified in court Wednesday that a Stone County man admitted he choked his mother until she passed out, then cut her head off.
Sherry Johnson's body was discovered after deputies conducted a welfare check at her home on June 6. Her family became concerned after they had not heard from her for a few days.
Terrelle Johnson, who lived with his mother, initially told authorities that his mother was on a cruise when they arrived at the home. When deputies entered the home, they found a bloodstained bedroom and then his mother's body outside, the SunHerald reports.
Johnson was taken into custody soon after his mother's body was found.
Capt. Ray Boggs, an investigator with the Stone County Sheriff's Department, testified at Wednesday's preliminary hearing that Johnson admitted that he killed his mother and took her body outside so it would not smell, WLOX-TV reports.
The station reports Johnson admitted to Boggs that he decapitated his mother using a butterknife, his teeth and bare hands.
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According to Johnson's account, the slaying happened after a confrontation about credit cards, the SunHerald reports Boggs testified.
Johnson has previously been hospitalized with mental health problems, according to defense attorney Jim Davis.
► June 8: Hattiesburg High counselor was decapitated, coroner says
► June 11: Hattiesburg High counselor died of multiple blows to her head
Justice Court Judge Justin Miles sent the case to a grand jury, which will decide on formal charges, according to the SunHerald.
Sherry Johnson was a guidance counselor at a local High School and died of multiple blunt-force trauma to her head, according to preliminary autopsy results.