Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
Tonya Papanikolas Reporting"This episode came on very, very quickly. And I did not see any signs or flags."
The family of a Holladay teen accused of killing his father says he had never been violent before. 19-year-old Benjamin Gully was charged today with first-degree murder. He also made his first court appearance.
Benjamin Gully's mother and stepmother consoled one another as they expressed support for their son.
Janice Gully, Ben's Stepmother: “We love him so much, we love him so much. It just breaks our hearts to have to see him go through this.”
Mary Gully, Ben's Mother: “I knew that the mental illness itself was not going to go away and it was going to be a lifetime thing."
But neither mom thought their son's illness could result in violence towards a father Ben loved. They say the two adored each other and often spent time hunting or fishing. So they didn't think twice about letting Ben go hunting on Saturday night.
Mary Gully: “He seemed to be fine at the time he went duck hunting. And he'd been duck hunting before with his dad, so we didn't have any reason to believe that a tragedy would result."
The district attorney says Ben confessed to killing his father. But they don't have a motive outside of his mental illness.
Today in court Ben's defense attorney said his client had previously been on medication, but hadn't taken it for a while. His family won't say why, but they admit it's affecting how he copes.
Janice Gully: “He doesn't grasp really what he's done. And when he's remedicated, he's going to be devastated."
Jim Gully's obituary says he "died doing what he loved most... sharing the outdoors with one of his children." It also says Jim had a forgiving and generous spirit, which his wife believes he would show, even now.
Janice Gully: “He forgave Ben instantly. And if Ben had shot somebody else he'd be standing here in front of a microphone."
In December 2003, Ben's family says he was taken into the emergency room in a psychotic state. He was hospitalized for nine days.