Gary Sherrill (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
Phoenix police released this photo of David Sebastian Sherrill, 13, taken in the summer while in Disneyland with his family.
PHOENIX (CBS5/AP) -
A 51-year-old Phoenix man who police said admitted killing his 13-year-old son with an ax pleaded not guilty Wednesday morning.
Gary Reagan Sherrill is being held on a $1 million bond and entered his plea in Maricopa County Superior Court. His next court appearance is scheduled for March 3.
Sherrill was arrested on New Year's Eve. Officers said he told them he believed his son was a demon and was going to eat him.
On New Year's Eve, police officers were called to an apartment near 12th Street and Bethany Home Road for a welfare check. The call came from the mother of the teenage boy, identified by Phoenix police as David Sherrill.
The mother told the officers that her son was picked up by his father one day earlier. The parents filed for divorce in 2005. The father failed to return their son and she said she could not reach either of them.
Officers went to the father's apartment and talked to the father, 51-year-old Gary Sherrill. He first told officers that his son was not there. After more questioning, Sherrill let the officers into the apartment.
Once inside, they found his son dead with obvious signs of trauma. It appeared to the officers that the boy had been stabbed with cuts to several parts of his body.
Homicide detectives were called out and began questioning the father. That's when police say Sherrill confessed to the murder. He reportedly told them he was scared of his son and thought his son was a demon and was going to eat him. He then reportedly told police that he struck his son with an ax because he was fearful of his son.
Police said they got a call Christmas night that Sherrill reportedly was making threats, but responding officers couldn't find him.
Sherrill has been booked into the Fourth Avenue Jail on the charge of first-degree murder.
A status conference has been scheduled for Jan. 8.
For those wishing to donate to David's family, an account has been set up at Wells Fargo under David's name.
Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Monday, September 15 2014 5:39 PM EDT2014-09-15 21:39:25 GMT
Horrific details of a southern Indiana homicide were released Monday, including allegations that Joseph Oberhansley ate portions of Tammy Jo Blanton's brain, heart and lungs after stabbing her to death.More >>
Horrific details of a southern Indiana homicide were released Monday, including allegations that Joseph Oberhansley ate portions of Tammy Jo Blanton's brain, heart and lungs after stabbing her to death. More >>
While you were sleeping, the Internet never stopped… Here's what's trending today. Mobile user? Click here to watch: Girl doesn't recognize clean-shaven father A father shaving his beard brings hisMore >>
While you were sleeping, the Internet never stopped… Here's what's trending today.More >>
Monday, September 15 2014 5:42 PM EDT2014-09-15 21:42:53 GMT
The Madison County Sheriff's Department has made an arrest of a drug dealer who has allegedly been distributing 25i, the synthetic LSD. Madison County Sheriff Randy Tucker says that Kaleb K. ChhabraMore >>
Madison County Sheriff Randy Tucker says that 19-year-old Kaleb K. Chhabra was arrested for Possession with Intent to Distribute LSD (25I).More >>
Thursday, September 11 2014 2:31 AM EDT2014-09-11 06:31:36 GMT
Miss Mississippi, Jasmine Murray competed in swimsuit and evening wear preliminaries Tuesday night. The winners in the first night of preliminary competition were, Miss Ohio, Mackenzie Bart in Talent,More >>
Wednesday night it was Talent night where Miss Mississippi sang, Something's Gotta Hold On Me, which she also sang at the Miss Mississippi Pageant in July.More >>