Possible defense options for murder suspect Isaac Tiharihondi

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The west Houston man accused of brutally killing his family will face a judge in Houston today. Here's a look at his possible defense strategies. (KTRK)

The west Houston man accused of brutally killing his family returned to Texas last night. Now, we're getting a look at what his defense may look like.

Isaac Tiharihondi, 19, faces capital murder charges which could carry the death penalty if he's convicted. Prosecutors accuse him of beating his father, Episcopal priest Israel, and mother, Dorcus Ahimbisibwe, to death.

They also say Tiharihondi killed his 5-year old brother Jay by stabbing him.

The case shocked the community.

As Tiharihondi enters the justice system, Eyewitness News sat down with our legal analyst Joel Androphy to explore the young man's possible defense strategies. Androphy stressed Tiharihondi remains innocent until proven guilty.

Androphy says the first thing the defense attorney will likely try to do is work to understand Tiharihondi's past. After that, Androphy said there's two obvious defenses. The first would be to argue the teen lost it in a moment of insanity.

""The 1st part of the defense is to sit down with your client and try to get an understanding of a history. Why would he snap like this? This is clearly an overreaction to something that happened. He had a break in reality," said Androphy. "He's a big guy. They're thoughts I would have on whether he's on steroids or other types of drugs because steroids can produce that kind of anger. So you want to understand why he had this break in reality ... to kill his parents and 5 year old brother with a hammer and knife? That's pretty viscous."

Androphy says the second obvious defense would simply be to make the state prove Tiharihondi actually committed the crime. According to court documents, there are no witnesses to the brutal killings, just circumstantial evidence.

Tiharihondi is due back in court this morning. Eyewitness News plans to have crew in the courtroom.
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