valedictorian murderFormer high school valedictorian Jeffrey Pyne is on trial for the murder of his mother. His defense team says he had nothing to do with his mother's death by bludgeoning and stabbing. But Pyne's ex-girlfriend, Holly Freeman, testified against him today. And she sure did give us one hell of a motive for why Pyne might have killed his mom.

Apparently Pyne's mother, Ruth, suffered from severe mental illness. This is sad to learn, of course. But according to Freeman, Ruth was a violent and abusive woman who thought her medications were witchcraft. And that's just the beginning.

Freeman told the jury that Ruth "believed her medication was sorcery and witchcraft, and therefore evil. She had been storing knives in the headboard of her bed. She watched the religious channel, walked around with the Bible." And that would scare the bejeezus out of anyone. I mean, it's bad enough that she allegedly refused to take her meds. But if Freeman's testimony is true, Ruth had more or less turned her home into a haunted house. Imagine living with a woman obsessed with sorcery and evil. She almost sounds like the mother in the movie Carrie.

Those "evil" meds were court ordered, too. Ruth had been arrested for physically attacking Jeffrey, but charges against her were dropped when she agreed to take medication. I can see how not taking her drugs would invite Ruth's delusional demons to arise, but why did she stop taking them in the first place? Or were they just not effective enough?

At any rate, Freeman's testimony could make the jury's job even harder. On one hand, she's given us a compelling reason why Jeffrey might have wanted to kill his mother. But on the other hand, if it were that bad, and if the law had been unable to protect him, could you blame Jeffrey if he really had snapped and murdered his mom? Obviously there's a lot more to this horror story.

 

If Freeman's testimony is true, how do you think Jeffrey was feeling in the weeks leading up to his mother's killing?

 

Image via ABC