Madera man accused of killing his family pleads not guilty

MADERA, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Madera man accused of killing two of his family members and stabbing his cousin pleaded not guilty in court. Deijon Walker appeared via video from the Madera County Jail on Tuesday.

A family member, Joel Miller, said it was his first time seeing his cousin since he allegedly killed Betty and Tonya Terrell.

"I feel sorrow. I feel hurt. I feel angry. Everything all into one. At the same time I want what's best for my cousin because I love him, as my family does also," Miller said.

Walker is facing two counts of murder, and a count of attempted murder. Attorneys said the case could be eligible for the death penalty.

RELATED: Two women dead, male family member arrested after stabbing in Madera

He was arrested on August 30 after police said he killed the Terrell women inside their Madera home, then ran outside and stabbed his cousin, Jazmine Miller, in her car. Action News spoke to Jazmine on Monday. She said they were all inside the home hanging out and talking moments before the incident.

RELATED: Madera man arrested after brutally killing 2 family members, stabbing cousin

Madera investigators believe he may have been in a drug psychosis when he stabbed his family.

"That's the number one thing I'm looking at right now. They've alleged special circumstances which make him eligible for the death penalty, but if he was under a psychosis at the time, I don't think he should be facing the death penalty," Defense Attorney Craig Collins said.

Family members say he may have taken Xanax the day of the incident, but they aren't sure what made him snap.

RELATED: Madera stabbing victim speaks out about death of family at hands of cousin

Defense attorneys said they still need to look at the police report and look into Walker's history.

"You have to get records basically from his whole life, right up to the event," Collins said.

While Miller agreed that there needs to be punishment, he said the last thing his family needs is another life taken from them.
"They wouldn't want that for him. If it was a drug situation, at least he could spend his life in jail. The death penalty would just cause more pain for our family because it'll be another loss for our family," Miller said.

Prosecutors would not comment on the arraignment.

Walker's preliminary hearing is expected to start on September 14.
Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.