ALLISON, Iowa – The mother of a former Iowa football player accused of shooting his high school coach says her son suffered from severe bouts of depression and occasionally violent episodes.
Joan Becker testified Wednesday that her son, Mark Becker, was hospitalized for mental issues three times before he was accused of gunning down Aplington-Parkersburg coach Ed Thomas in June.
Joan Becker says she was unable to reach a mental health counselor when her son was released from a hospital the night before the shooting.
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She described her son's descent from an outgoing child to a severely depressed college student who didn't recognize his parents during the episodes.
Becker has been charged with first-degree murder and pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.