The murder trial of a man charged with killing his mother wrapped up Thursday afternoon.
Matthew Stick was 20 years old when an exterminator found his mother stabbed to death in her front yard. Matthew's family said mental illness caused him to do it.
He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity and gave up his right to a jury trial, which means a judge will decide if Matthew should become a prisoner or mental patient.
Matthew's father said he's praying his son gets the help he needs.10/5/2012 Related Story: Report: Man Arrested For Stabbing Mother Had Blood On His Clothes
The what ifs are so excruciating for Pastor Michael Stick.
“If I had just known, but I didn't know,” he said. “Can't even begin to explain the emotions, still grieving her obviously and always will.”
He lost his wife, Veronica, two and half years ago, in October of 2012. She was stabbed in the heart, and their son Matthew is charged with the crime.
“My son being accused is even harder, obviously, and I don't want to lose him. He's just, it's just so hard to explain,” Michael said.
He said his son was not acting as a monster the day Veronica died, but instead, was someone suffering with a mental illness.
“It was an undiagnosed case. We simply didn't know the warning signs. We didn't know what mental illness looked like,” said Michael.
He said he and his wife knew their son was depressed, but had no idea how severe his mental state had become.10/9/2015 Related Story: Police Baffled By Case Of Woman Allegedly Stabbed To Death By Son
One of the hardest parts, Matthew's dad said, is that his son was scheduled to see a doctor, but by the time the appointment came it was too late.
“I have no anger. I never blamed him. If there's anything to be angry about it's the mental illness that he has. That's what we need to be angry about,” he said.
Two different doctors evaluated Matthew and agreed he has Bipolar One Disorder, with a psychotic feature that can produce dangerous delusions.
They said he did not understand the consequences of his actions the day his mother was killed.
The state said what Matthew did after the murder - leaving the scene, ditching his car, the knife and throwing out his IDs - shows he did understand.
Prosecutors said he should pay for what he did in prison.
In the courthouse there was prayer and support for the preacher's son, who, according to the family, needs help that will never come from a prison cell.
“We just love him and want him to receive treatment,” Michael said. “And come home someday, yeah, that's my hope.”
The judge said he will have a decision on May 21st.
If he decides not to sentence Matthew to prison he would be ordered to go to a state mental health facility in Vinita.
The family said now that Matthew is medicated, he's the person he was before the mental problems took hold.