Police responded to a call at a home in Albany, New York, on May 27 and arrested Marquis Dixon for allegedly threatening his mother, Aisha Dixon, with a steak knife.
Marquis, 19, pointed the knife at Aisha and said, "B****, I will kill you!" according to the police report. His grandmother, Jackie Dixon, said she worried for her grandson's mental state, WNYT reports.
"Psychologically, I think Marquis needs help. I think he's crying out for help," said Jackie.
Marquis was charged with misdemeanor menacing, along with a felony count of criminal possession of a weapon.
Marquis was previously convicted of stealing a pair of sneakers when he was 16, and given a nine-year prison sentence. After a public outcry that Marquis should have been considered a youthful offender, he was released from jail in November 2016.
"I know my son is going to be on his best behavior," Aisha said when Marquis was released. "I know he's not going to go back in because he's tired of being locked up."
In court, Albany Police Officer J.D. Zhaka said Aisha was "really scared and upset" when he found her outside of her home.
"She told me to come upstairs quickly," recalled Zhaka. "She said, 'We were arguing and my son told me, "B****, I will kill you!" Hurry up before he leaves out the back door.'"
Jackie said her daughter had a different version of events, saying that Aisha said she never felt threatened by her son.
"She said when I go to court with him [June 1], I'm going to let them know I never made a report like that at all," said Jackie.
"I provoke people all the time," testified Aisha. "My son was upset but I think he had to get that anger out. He had to hit something so he hit the couch. He didn't hit me."
"I said to him I should have killed you when I gave birth," she added. "He said, 'Shut the f*** up or I'll spit in your face.'"
Assistant District Attorney Caroline Murray argued that Aisha was still reeling from the incident, and that her initial statement about Marquis threatening her should be admissible in court.
"We've heard testimony from an eyewitness who is the mother who testified that she was never threatened," said Defense Attorney Peter Apostol. "She never felt threatened and her safety was never in question according to her testimony."
After Judge Joshua Farrell found "reasonable cause for the defendant to be bound over for grand jury action," Marquis remains in jail in lieu of $7,500 bail.
Jackie, a retired corrections officer, said she worried about the toll prison took on her grandson.
"I don't know what happened to him in that institution," she said. "At the age of 16 you're around criminals in a maximum joint, it's going to mess your head up."
"I don't want him to be that institutionalized person like the rest of them," she added. "I've seen them out the door and two or three weeks later they're back in because all they know is what they're taught behind them bars."