PHOENIX - A Phoenix man was being held on a $1 million bond after admitting on New Year's Eve to killing his son with an ax, court records stated.
The 13-year-old victim's mother called authorities shortly after 3:30 p.m. Tuesday to conduct a welfare check at 51-year-old Gary Reagan Sherrill's Phoenix apartment. The mother was concerned because Sherrill refused to answer the door when she went to pick up her son earlier in the day, according to court records.
Sherrill picked up his son Monday and was supposed to return the son to his mother Tuesday, but failed to bring him back on time.
When Phoenix police officers arrived at Sherrill's residence, Sherrill told them that the son was at a nearby cousin's house, records stated.
After returning from a check of the cousin's house, Sherrill allowed officers into his residence, where the son was found dead in a bedroom with multiple lacerations and stab wounds to his body, according to court documents.
"The victim was obviously deceased and his blood was already drying," according to court records.
Officers detained Sherrill and, in an interview with police, Sherrill said he believed that people were after him, according to court records. Sherrill later said during the interview that he believed his son was a demon and that the boy was trying to eat him, records stated.
Sherrill then said that he used the ax to defend himself from his son, striking the boy three or four times.
A search of Sherrill's apartment revealed an ax and multiple cutting instruments, records stated.
Police arrested Sherrill on suspicion of first-degree murder and the Phoenix resident was being held on a $1 million bond, according to court records.
"It is hard to believe," said Sgt. Steve Martos of the Phoenix Police Department. "It's one of those where you think, 'who does this? Are there people out there who actually do this to other people?' And unfortunately, there are."