Defendant claims "demon" made him murder girlfriend - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Defendant claims "demon" made him murder girlfriend

(WMC-TV) - A Memphis man who told police a demon made him murder his ex-girlfriend is on trial this week.

Curtis Stanton claimed he heard voices before a demon took possession of him, but the victim's family members do not believe him.

A program from Regina Tidwell's funeral stays with her sister, Ava Smith.  She placed it in her purse before coming to court Wednesday.

"I just feel like I need to bring it with me," said Smith after court proceedings Wednesday.

Members of both Tidwell's and Stanton's families are watching his murder trial.

Stanton is accused of dragging Tidwell behind her apartment over three years ago, before fatally stabbing the mother of three with a steak knife.

"I just feel like he took on an action that causes both families to be in a situation," said Smith.

Stanton told police a demon took possession of him the night of the murder and that voices told him to kill Tidwell when she refused to dance with him at a club.

Tidwell's family does not buy the story.

"I don't believe that," said Smith.

Much of the day Wednesday was spent questioning a psychologist called to the stand by defense.

"The opinion from the explanation I got is that it was literally a voice saying, 'do this,'" said clinical psychologist Joseph Angelillo, Ph.D.

While his attorneys are not arguing insanity, they do believe mental issues protect Stanton from a possible first degree murder conviction.

Smith said she simply wants justice.

"I feel sorry for him, I really do," she said.

Closing arguments are set for Thursday.  Judge Chris Craft warned members of both families to watch their emotions after one of them had to be removed Wednesday.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly