Days before a Madison man allegedly shot and killed four family members, including his pregnant wife and their 7-month-old son, and critically injured two other relatives in a Chicago home, he told his stepfather that he "was reincarnated as a prophet."
"We got into an argument about it," said Frederick Burton of Madison, the stepfather of James A. Larry and husband of Leona Larry Burton, who remained on life support at a suburban Chicago hospital Friday after being shot in the head early Wednesday.
"It's not looking good," said Burton, 49. "If she does get better, she won't be right."
Burton said he plans to talk with people at the Catholic church he attends in Chicago about whether to discontinue life support.
"I just don't know what to do," Burton said.
"When I talk to her, she knows that I'm there," he said. "She sort of flinched....I kissed her."
Also on Friday, a judge denied bail for James Larry after prosecutors said he admitted killing his wife, Twanda Thompson, 19, and their 7-month-old son, Jihad, both of Madison, and his nieces, Keleasha Larry, 3, Keyshai Fields, 16, who also was pregnant.
Along with four counts of first-degree murder, James Larry, 32, is charged with four counts of attempted murder and two counts of intentional homicide of an unborn child.
In addition to his mother, James Larry, is accused of trying to kill his 13-year-old nephew Demond Larry, who also was shot in the head and remains in critical condition. He also is accused of shooting at a 12-year-old niece as she fled, and attempting to shoot a 35-year-old boarder at the home in the 7200 block of South Mozart Street.
"We're all trying to make sense of it," said Burton, who was with his family in Chicago.
Burton said he decided not to go from Madison to Chicago on Tuesday with James Larry and his family to visit other relatives, and instead planned to go by bus with his wife. But Burton said James Larry and his wife must have convinced her to go with them.
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"When I got back to the house, they left already," Burton said.
The day before, Burton said, James Larry said "someone told him he had been reincarnated as a prophet," Burton said. He said the two argued, and James Larry "got angry. Then he started saying some stuff in Arabic."
Burton said James Larry had been acting odd and controlling since he got out of prison, where he had become a Muslim. Family members previously said James Larry had a dispute with his wife because she refused to dress in Muslim garb.
In 2002, James Larry was sentenced to nearly six years in prison for possessing a firearm as a felon. He was released on April 30, 2007, but was found to have violated his three-year term of supervised release in 2008 by repeatedly using marijuana, according to federal court records.
At Friday's bail hearing, Assistant Public Defender Julie Koehler said James Larry had recently been under the treatment of a psychiatrist in Janesville.
Burton said he did not know James Larry was seeing a psychiatrist. But Burton said he "knew something was wrong with him" when he got out of jail in February after receiving a 45-day sentence for battering his wife in the parking lot of Walmart, 4198 Nakoosa Trail, on Sept. 25.
"He started saying he was having these headaches," Burton said.
According to federal court records, while on supervised release from prison in 2008, James Larry was referred to the Janesville Psychiatric Clinic, which identified him as a dual diagnosis offender with mental health and drug abuse issues. On July 21, 2008, his residential re-enty placement was transferred to Schwert House in Madison to better address his treatment needs.
Records show he completed 30 days of treatment at Schwert House. But on Sept. 30, 2008, at 3:55 a.m. he was issued a ticket for driving with a suspended licenses. He was not authorized to drive while at Schwert House, and his case manager said he had been violating rules on a consistent basis. His supervision was revoked and on Oct. 2, 2008, he was ordered back to prison for two months, and a six-month term of supervised release was to follow.
State Journal reporter Ed Treleven and the Chicago Tribune contributed to this story.