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Trial begins for man charged with murdering mother, mutilating family dog

Matt Swearengin, Durant Daily Democrat, Okla. –

A non-jury trial for a man charged with murdering his mother and the family dog began Wednesday and was scheduled to resume today.

Ian Harley Edmondson, 24, Durant, was charged in April 2010 with first-degree murder for the slaying of Francine Sue Bertis, 54. He was also charged with animal cruelty for the mutilation death of the family’s schnauzer.

Edmondson was arrested and charged after Durant Police responded to a call at Timber Ridge Apartments in 2010. When officers arrived, they discovered the victim’s body in a bedroom, and according to police, she had been stabbed multiple times with a pair of kamas, a martial arts weapon similar to a scythe.

Edmondson was hiding in a closet and armed with a sword, according to police. The stand-off was ended after an officer fired non-lethal shells from a shotgun.

He admitted to stabbing his mother and knowing she was dead, an affidavit states. He did not have an explanation for the murder, according to police, and said his mother was always good to him.

He also admitted to killing “Abigail,” the family’s schnauzer, the affidavit states. Investigators found approximately 17 stab wounds on the dog.

A dispatch log states that the victim’s daughter was unable to contact her mother for several days, and later that evening, the apartment maintenance man entered the apartment.

The daughter, according to the report, said her brother has mental problems and had fought with their mother about five days earlier.

A non-jury trial is a trial where the case is decided by a judge instead of a jury, and this trial is being heard by Bryan County District Judge Mark Campbell. Testimony began Wednesday and continued today.

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