HOUSTON (KTRK) --Isaac Tiharihondi pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of capital murder. Despite his guilty plea, he had an outpouring of support in the courtroom.
"We had in excess of 100 people who viewed themselves as family members, who knew the boys, knew the family," said Rick Watkins, a supporter of Tiharihondi.
The support may come as a surprise to some, especially since Tiharihondi pleaded guilty to the violent killings of his father, a priest known as Father Israel, his mother and five-year-old brother.
Even Tiharihondi's attorney couldn't believe all the support.
"It's unprecedented for someone to have this kind of support," said Alvin Nunnery, Tiharihondi's attorney.
All of that support prompted the judge to allow something extremely unusual. After the sentencing, she permitted Isaac Tiharihondi's supporters to say goodbye in a private meeting in the courtroom.
"We want people to know the person committing these crimes is not the real Isaac. The real Isaac is the one that we saw and got to say goodbye to today," said Watkins.
Tiharihondi's supporters said he suffered from a psychotic disorder and heard voices.
"Something that went very wrong and this was not in his normal nature," said Anne Loo, one of his supporters.
Investigators said Tiharihondi beat his father with a bat, his mother with a hammer and stabbed his brother to death last January.
Despite the gruesome deaths his supporters said they're forgiving and loving him, like his father would want.
While Tiharihondi's supporter said he has a mental illness, lawyers said that he had been examined by medical experts and was found to be competent.
He is not eligible for parole.