MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - He served our nation in the military, now he could serve time for threatening to kill his mother.
Douglas Farmer is charged with Aggravated Assault. Police say he shoved an AR-15 in his mother's face at her Whitehaven home.
"I'm his mama, you know? I'm his mama!" exclaimed Sam Brown, Farmer's mother. "I never did nothing to him, he was always my best child."
Sam Brown, 87, is a conflicted woman. Although she's outraged over what she says her son Douglas did to her, she says cannot deny her maternal instinct to defend her son.
As to what caused his violent outburst, Brown said, "Well, really I think he couldn't get no job. And he was a veteran."
His mother says he spent eight years in the Marines Corps. Police say he used a Bushmaster AR-15 to threaten his mother's life. He pulled the trigger but it didn't fire; the gun was either jammed or empty.
"I had no idea - he came across as the kind of person who was a loner, stays to himself," observed a neighbor. "Him and his mom used to sit on the front porch together all the time."
Farmer is also accused of dousing his mother's house with gasoline. She believes the stress of unemployment broke him.
"Pressure. Pressure will kill you. You know that. You can have so much on you until you don't know what's what," she said.
The newly formed Veteran's Court was established for that very reason. It offers defendants rehab instead of jail. It's unclear if Farmer's case will be transferred to the court. It normally does not hear violent felony cases.
If Farmer is convicted of Aggravated Assault, he could spend up to 15 years behind bars.