Mother testifies in Jonathan Zarate's murder trial

The mother of accused murderer Jonathan Zarate testified Wednesday in court, claiming that her son is psychotic.

Jonathan Zarate, now 21 years old, is accused of murdering and dismembering Jennifer Parks in 2005. Zarate?s mother, Flora Mari, spoke to jurors Wednesday, claiming that her son is mentally ill and exhibited signs of his illness after she divorced his father.

Mari claims Zarate was often irritated, angry and obsessed with cleaning himself. Mari and her current husband gave examples of Zarate?s strange behavior, which included Zarate often covering the bathroom in his own waste, hiding his soiled underwear in plastic bags under his bed and refusing to touch the buttons on a telephone.

Mari says she took Zarate to the doctor, but the state presented evidence that the doctor never diagnosed Zarate with mental problems. Zarate?s biological father also testified Wednesday, backing up Mari?s claims that her son is mentally unstable.

To see Flora Mari's court testimony, go to channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and select iO Extra.

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