Chesterfield mother relates to Deeds, lost 2 sons to mental illness

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - A mother in Chesterfield knows all too well what Creigh Deeds is going through. She says one of her sons committed murder in the days after his early release from a mental institution in 1996 - she believes little has changed in Virginia to help.

Louise Davis lost two sons to the darkside of mental illness.

"City records first murder of 1996." This was the headline greeting folks in Petersburg on June 23. A picture in the paper shows a man sitting handcuffed in a police car with no shirt. He is 40-year-old Alexander Martin, and he had just stabbed his brother.

Davis remembers that day like it was yesterday. She got that terrible knock at the front door from police at 3 a.m.

"I fell back on the couch, and my daughter starts screaming. We started screaming and hollering," said Davis.

40-year-old Enrico Martin was killed in a home in Petersburg after an argument over the electric bill. Alexander Martin was diagnosed with schizophrenia at the age of 17. He'd been in and out of mental institutions.

"It was during the time when they were talking about they didn't have enough money to run Central State. They had let as many patients go as they could. Well, Alexander was one of those patients they let go," said Davis.

Davis said the day Alexander Martin killed his brother inside that house, he even had a visit with a social worker.

"He was so hostile and so agitated, she was scared to sit in the same room as him, but she said, 'I don't have anywhere for you to stay,' so she sends him back out on the street," said Davis.

When Davis turned on her TV and saw what happened to a State Senator, she was stunned. 

"Ahhhh. When I found out his son was mentally ill, I said, 'there it goes again,'" said Davis.

She felt history had repeated itself - Virginia hadn't learned from its past.

"I'm glad he lived through it, and what I'm hoping is that he will push forward," said Davis. "He can work towards them getting a bill for the mentally ill."

She hates that it takes someone famous to start change. 

"They always going to be short money when it comes to mental health, because they never have been paying much attention to mental health," said Davis.

Alexander Martin is set to be released from prison in February, and he's supposed to be placed in a mental institution. Davis is battling stage-4 cancer and worries what will happen to her son when she's gone.

Davis plans to write a letter to Deeds. She said she wants to work with him in any way she can to raise awareness.

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