A man accused of stabbing his 5-year-old son suffered from serious mental health issues and was out on bond after being arrested in Arizona, the family told Channel 2 Action News.
Montrais Boyd appeared in a DeKalb County courtroom Friday to face charges of malice murder in the death of Montrais Boyd Jr., who died of sharp, blunt injuries to the neck, according to the DeKalb medical examiner.
Boyd allegedly used a knife to slit his son's throat before trying to bury the boy's body in the backyard, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported.
Family members said the 25-year-old father shouldn’t have been freed from jail when he was taken away naked in handcuffs after a high-speed chase driving the wrong way on an interstate in Flagstaff, Arizona.
Channel 2 obtained police dashcam video taken in June that shows Boyd pummeling a police car with his fists before ramming the patrol vehicle with his car. Boyd allegedly crashed with his son, who was 4 at the time, in the car.
Boyd faced charges of aggravated assault with a dangerous instrument, felony endangerment and child abuse that online records in Arizona show did not go to trial. Those records show Boyd was ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation to determine if he was fit to stand trial, but whether the evaluation took place is uncertain, Channel 2 reported.
Boyd’s aunt, Tomicka Brown, said the diagnosed schizophrenic should have had access to resources for his mental health — or at least had an ankle monitor after his release to track his movements.
Schizophrenia is a potentially disabling mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. The illness affects less than 1 percent of the population.
“They let him go,” Brown said. “I feel like he was crying for help and he didn’t get the help that he needed.”
On Wednesday, DeKalb County police said Boyd drove from California to his mother's home in Lithonia, where Boyd was allegedly with his son and other children in the home.
Brown said the family now worries about the three surviving children who were home during the attack, especially the oldest, a 10-year-old who had to protect his brothers.
“He saw him (Boyd) go to the kitchen and get a knife and he went upstairs and put him and his brothers in the room and barricaded the door with the dresser,” she said.
Brown said she had a chance to speak to Boyd in jail this week and that he is remorseful, sad and hurting.
“He still hears God talking to him,” she said. “He’s very emotional.”
Boyd remains in the DeKalb County Jail on the murder charge.
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