John Woods III (Source: Autauga County Sheriff's Office)
AUTAUGA CO., AL (WSFA) -
An Autauga County man is charged with murder after his father was found dead on the floor of their home with more than 30 stab wounds.
John Woods III, 35, made his first court appearance Monday afternoon, making several bizarre statements. Woods is accused of killing his dad, John Woods Jr., 64.
Officials say Woods was "out of it" when he called 911 Friday night. Sheriff's deputies responded to the "mental and emotional situation" at the Woods' residence in the 900 block of County Road 1, a rural part of Autauga County near the Dallas County line in the Statesville community. Once inside the house, they discovered the bloody scene.
"The evidence is going to show, we believe, that he stabbed his father to death. What we believe is that a domestic altercation took place. There may have been some alcohol involved and that the victim ended up stabbed multiple times. His cause of death was a stab wound to the neck," said Assistant District Attorney Ray Hawthorne.
Hawthorne asked the judge to make Woods' $150,000 bond a cash bond, stating that if he were to be released from jail, he would be a threat to society or himself. Judge Joy Booth agreed to the cash bond.
Authorities say it wasn't the first time they were called out to the home father and son shared.
"There's been a history in the last several months of disagreements between him and his father. They've had several disagreements and altercations. We've been called out there several times," said Chief Deputy Joe Sedinger with the Autauga County Sheriff's Office. "There was a strong odor of alcohol on both persons so it is a factor in what happened. I really do [hate to see it end this way.]"
Sedinger did not expand on what exactly the feud was over. He told WSFA that the victim suffered more than two dozen stab wounds.
Neighbors were also aware of the scuffles between the relatives. One neighbor we spoke to did not want to be interviewed but described the Woods' household as a "hell house" where fighting was always happening and said he was worried that someone would get hurt.
But no one thought it was end with one relative dead and the other behind bars.
"The father I knew all his life. If you needed something, he'd help and the son was the same way. I'm just praying for the family. It's just sad. It shocked me. I'm still in shock," said another neighbor, Mary Perry.
For the Autauga County Sheriff's Department, it is their first homicide of 2014.
Woods can request to have a preliminary hearing in the case. After that, it will be heard by an Autauga County grand jury who will decide if there is enough probable cause to indict him for his father's murder.
Woods' attorney expressed concern to the court over his "ability to understand what's going on and the process that is taking place" and believes he should undergo a mental evaluation at the appropriate time as his case moves through the court system. During his hearing, he mumbled several things and made a number of incoherent statements but he did allude to the fact that he has been "in and out of treatment" and "therapy."
He remains behind bars at the Autauga County Jail.
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