MAGNOLIA, Texas—Relatives of a woman accused of slashing her 5-year-old son’s throat are struggling to understand the unthinkable crime.
Daphne Spurlock was arrested on an attempted capital murder charge Saturday after her child was found covered in blood in their Magnolia home.
Lee Gresham said his baby sister has always been a good mother to her five children. Michael, the victim, is the youngest.
"She loved people, especially children," Gresham said. "She has four other children she raised, and they’re grown. No problems with that."
But Gresham said there were signs over the last few years that Spurlock had changed.
He said her marriage to the victim’s father was troubled and their mobile home was a mess.
"It was in disarray. It was scary because my sister is not like that," Gresham said. "She’s clean."
Relatives said Spurlock seemed obsessed by her faith and talked of little else.
"My mom said the church told her she had the power to cast demons out of people and she started speaking tongues like that," said Channterra Gresham, Spurlock’s daughter.
Police say Spurlock told them she was trying to cast demons out of her child so she stomped on his chest and stabbed him with a large kitchen knife.
"Once she stomped the demons, it was not helping. She further took a knife and slit his throat," said Brian Clack with the Magnolia Police Department.
Michael survived, but he remains in critical condition.
Now his four siblings are struggling to understand how their mother could turn from a loving woman to someone they barely recognized in her mug shot.
"When I look at her picture, it doesn’t look like my mom. It was like another spirit was inside of her," said Channterra Gresham. "I know for a fact my mother is a loving person. She’s caring. She is never abusive to her to her kids. She always cared. She went to church every Sunday"
Spurlock has no previous criminal record and police have no record of calls to her home.
"She never abused my little brother at all," said Channterra. "Never. She never even had a sign of trying to whoop him."
Family and friends believe Spurlock had a mental breakdown.
"She loved that child," said Lee Gresham said."For her to talk that stuff she was talking about, she was told to sacrifice him, I know that’s out on the deep end. That’s not normal for any human being. She had some issues. I’m looking into them. We’re looking into them."
"That’s not her character," agreed Mary Smith, a close family friend. "The whole 20 years I’ve been knowing Daphne, she put her children first, her children before everything."
Spurlock remains in the Montgomery County Jail.