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SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – The man accused of killing his mother at a home on Clark Drive in Bristol Saturday admitted to authorities in an interview that he had committed the act, according to court documents.
An affidavit obtained by News Channel 11 details the response of deputies to the home of Jill Sly on Feb. 4 and the subsequent arrest and interviewing of her son, Benjamin Sly, 26.
The affidavit states that the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) responded to the home after they were called by a friend of Jill Sly’s. The caller said she had been speaking with Jill Sly on the phone and noticed abnormal behavior, and she later told her friend “help.”
The caller told investigators that she went to the Sly home and knocked on the door. Benjamin Sly reportedly opened the door, then slammed it in the friend’s face. He then allegedly chased her off the porch before catching her, assaulting her and strangling her until she lost consciousness.
The affidavit states that the victim was able to leave the home and call police, and Benjamin Sly reportedly returned to the home.
When investigators responded to the Clark Drive home, they reportedly spoke with Benjamin Sly, who had scratches and blood on him. The affidavit states while the SCSO was on the scene, a family member of Benjamin Sly’s arrived and went inside; police then heard the relative calling for help and put Benjamin Sly in a patrol car.
According to the affidavit, officers found Jill Sly in the kitchen under a blanket. She reportedly had suffered severe injuries to her head and facial area, and her breathing was described as “agonal.”
Jill Sly was flown to the Johnson City Medical Center, where the affidavit states she later succumbed to her injuries.
Neighbors in the area are deeply saddened by the death of one of their friends. One neighbor, Savannah Riffey, said she didn’t know Jill Sly well, but she was always kind to her.
“She did offer me a job about two weeks ago,” said Riffey. “She was a super nice lady when I talked to her on the phone. She was just asking me how I was, asked like what I like to do and stuff like that.”
Benjamin Sly was brought to the sheriff’s office and taken to an interview room. The affidavit states that after he was read his Miranda Rights, he “willingly waived and signed the agency rights paperwork agreeing to speak with Det. Riner without a lawyer present.”
During the interview, investigators report that Benjamin Sly said he had been in an argument with his mother because she had interrupted him while he was trying to tell her about the dreams he was having. The affidavit states Benjamin Sly said his family was constantly interrupting him and mistreating him, and “he finally just snapped.”
Neighbors said they have witnessed Benjamin Sly and his mother have an argument before, one resulting in a threat to call police.
According to the affidavit, Benjamin Sly admitted that he had been sitting across the kitchen table from his mother when he began headbutting her “very hard numerous times.” After assaulting her, Benjamin Sly reportedly said he covered her so that he would not have to look at her.
Investigators also report that during the interview, Benjamin Sly said Jill Sly had spoken with a neighbor and friend on the phone before he started assaulting her. He also told investigators how he had headbutted the friend as well when she arrived at the home and said he was going to kill her as well, the affidavit states.
Benjamin Sly was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and aggravated assault. He was arraigned on those charges Monday morning, a release from the SCSO states. His bond was set at $1 million, and he is scheduled to appear in court next on Feb. 15.