MERCED, Calif. — Just hours before his mother was beheaded, David Lange repeatedly rambled to his boss, "I am not evil."
Hector Ramos, the father of Lange's girlfriend, sent the 18-year-old house painter home and suggested to his mother that he get help.
Aurelia Lange told Ramos later that her son was better and resting and that she would consider seeking counseling for him after her husband returned from his father's funeral in Texas.
Within the hour, the 50-year-old woman was dead from a severe beating and stabbing wounds in her lungs and heart. David Lange was found near her headless body, naked, sitting in a pool of her blood, reading the Bible.
On the day Lange was formally charged with her murder, investigation reports gave the first detailed look at what happened Friday on Paradise Avenue in nearby Delhi.
The 6-foot-3, 150-pound Lange said nothing during his brief appearance in Merced Superior Court. No plea was entered and the case was continued until Sept. 28 so his public defender has more time to prepare.
Lange's father spoke briefly with the youth in a hallway before he was led into court, and later left the courtroom without comment.
Investigation reports spell out a troubled relationship between mother and son.
David Lange hated his mother but never threatened her, Ronnie Lange, the defendant's sister, told investigators.
Ronnie Lange, who had recently moved out of the house, said the two argued about housecleaning. Aurelia wanted her son to clean up; he said he wanted to be paid for the work.
Friends of the defendant, who came to court to watch the proceedings, said afterward that he was a nice, quiet, shy guy who had problems with his mother.
Floyd Schelby said he often heard Lange's mother yelling at her son when he went to pick him up to go skateboarding. He said the rift was over religious differences. "She called him evil," Schelby said.