Man accused of murdering his mother on trial - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Anna Marie Hartman

Man accused of murdering his mother on trial

Late Tuesday afternoon, John Brunner, accused of murdering his own mother, took the stand in his own defense.

Brunner is charged with the first degree murder of his 82 year old mother.  He admits striking her with a cane, and then strangling her in July 2006.

Brunner was living in a guest house behind his mother's home at the time Opal Brunner was murdered.  He told investigators that he and his mother were in her kitchen arguing around 6PM when she began striking him with her cane.  The fight spilled over into Mrs. Brunner's back yard.  That's when John Brunner took his mothers cane and began hitting her with it repeatedly. Then they began struggling on the ground and that's when he strangled her.

"Well I just kind of lost it I was trying to get her to stop I know it doesn't make any sense I just wanted her to stop it.  That's why I was telling her stop it stop it stop it," defendant Brunner said.

After Opal Brunner was dead, prosecutors said her son went back into the guest house at his mother's home, drank some tea, and smoked a cigarette.

Brunner said he went back into the yard around 2 o'clock in the morning to make sure his mother was dead.

Then, at 5 a.m., he went to the store and bought a pack of cigarettes. 

Finally around 7 o'clock the next morning, Brunner called police.  

He said he never meant to kill his mother and that he had never struck her before. 

However, it it came out in court that Opal Brunner had called police twice the month of her death and told them her she was afraid of her son and he had threatened to kill her.

The jury could begin deliberating this case tonight or early tomorrow.

Click here to send an email to Anna Marie Hartman.

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