MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - A 22-year-old man had his first court appearance, accused of stabbing his own mother in the face.
William Walsh was arrested Saturday and charged with his mother's murder.
Walsh's friends say he was never violent or aggressive, but he did have a drug problem. They think that's what led to the murder of Elaine Mayer Walsh.
The Walshes live on a quiet street in East Memphis where not many cars travel down the road, except for a friend of Walsh's who can't believe what happened. "I can see the house in my head and I can't believe it happened in there. I really can't."
Walsh's friend doesn't want to be identified but he needed to drive by the house to let it all sink in. "He was a real nice guy," he says, "and I still can't believe it. He went into a rage or something."
According to police it began around 1 a.m. on April 21, 2012. Elaine Walsh and her husband complained to their son, William, about how noisy he was. Her husband went to bed. Elaine Walsh continued the conversation with William.
Several hours later, William Walsh woke up his dad. According to a court document, he told his father he'd "done something terrible, he'd killed someone." Elaine Walsh was found dead on the living room couch, with multiple knife wounds to her head and face.
William Walsh's friend says, "I think maybe he freaked out on a bad trip or something really, that's what I think, I've never heard him hitting his Mom or having any arguments."
The friend described William Walsh as a hippie who smoked marijuana. He hadn't seen Walsh in a few months and speculated whether Walsh had started using stronger drugs.
"Maybe he just wigged out on something because some drugs you trip real hard, you don't even know where you're at, you don't know what's going on. You see things... Maybe that mixed with whatever is wrong with his head; mental problems and anger don't mix, and drugs too, that's just a real bad cocktail."
Walsh is charged with First Degree Murder. He will undergo a mental evaluation and is due back in court May 14.
Elaine Walsh was 55 years old and worked at the University of Memphis. Her memorial is Wednesday, April 25 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Peter Catholic Church.