(WJRT) (5/16/2018) - Gretchen Brasher, mother of 18-year-old Ameera Stokes said she got physically sick when she heard Ameera had been charged with brutally murdering her father.
While she's not condoning Ameera's alleged actions, Basher said it's important to know what may have led Ameera to do it.
By phone, she told ABC12 she has a different view of her daughter.
"She loves to draw, she loves to do little things to surprise me - clean the house or make me dinner," Brasher said.
But Brasher explained that now-18-year-old Ameera Stokes had a difficult childhood. Brasher couldn't take care of Ameera and her sister financially, so she sent them to live with their father.
"He was very verbally abusive. She had a belly, so he would tease her about being fat," she explained. "He would like let her have an apple for dessert, while everybody else was having something better."
Not long after, Brasher said she became disabled in a car accident and got addicted to her pain meds. The drug addiction landed Brasher behind bars for several years.
"I'm not innocent in all of this I feel a lot of guilt," she added.
While Brasher was in prison, when Ameera was 13, she said Ameera stabbed one of her friends at an after school program. Instead of jail time, Ameera was sent to a rehabilitation program. She got out in February 2017 and moved in with her Mom in Muncie, Indiana.
"She was talking in the last couple of months about how when things were going down, how she wishes she could just go to prison and that would ensure she had a roof over her head and she wouldn't have to worry about anything, it would be so much less stress and she wouldn't be a burden to anybody," Brasher explained.
Brasher said these comments came after Ameera tried six times to commit suicide. She was admitted to a facility, but able to check herself out a little over a month ago. That's when she came to Mt. Morris Township where her father, Donald Stokes lived.
"She told me she ran out of her medication about three or four days prior to Saturday," Brasher said. "The biggest mistake she made was going over there."
Early Sunday morning, Ameera called police to say she murdered her father, allegedly hitting him in the head with a hammer multiple times before stabbing him.
"That's my daughter. I raised a person that's capable of such horrific murder I just can't believe it," Brasher cried.
Brasher said her daughter deserves to be punished; but, she's hopeful Ameera will also receive mental health treatment while behind bars.
May is mental health awareness month. Click on the 'Related Links' section of this story to find information on where you or someone you know who may need help can go for free or low cost counseling.