PRICE Utah (ABC4 Utah) – Seth Peterson thought he was shooting at an alien when he killed his mother.
That’s what his aunt claimed happened when he allegedly killed Susan Peterson and his brother James November 3.
“People are doing things that they don’t know what they’re doing,” said Beth Hansen, Seth’s aunt.
That’s why family members of Seth Peterson are showing their support for the 25-year old.
Peterson was in a Price district courtroom after being charged with two counts of aggravated murder and a single count of attempted aggravated murder.
During his brief court appearance, Peterson appeared subdued and didn’t speak until the end.
“Thank you your honor,” Peterson said in court.
The judge along with prosecutors and his defense attorney agreed that a competency evaluation be ordered. He is scheduled to be back in court January 3. His family was on board with the review.
“Right now everybody’s stepped into the mode that they are supporting Seth and we absolutely understand that he was not in his right mind because of the drugs,” said Hansen.
She said Seth’s mother knew he had an addiction and that’s why she came to him in hopes of getting him help. Hansen visited Seth while in jail and said Seth confessed to her that he was high on crystal meth when she appeared.
“He thought that he was shooting at aliens,” said Hansen. “He had no clue that he had shot his mother or his brother. No clue.”
But right after the shooting authorities claimed Seth came back to his home which was nearby.
According to a search warrant just unsealed, the friend claimed Seth told him “I just shot my mom in the (expletive) face.”
The search warrant claimed Seth and the friend got into a fight and the friend was hit over the head with a crowbar. Authorities claimed he took the friend’s vehicle and came across another friend and allegedly told him “you have to help me hide two bodies.”
The search warrant claimed Peterson took off but was stopped by police after a brief chase.
But at the time of the shooting, his aunt maintained Seth saw aliens, not his mother. And that will be part of the competency review according to his court appointed attorney. They will seek to see if Seth had “diminished mental capacity” at the time of the incident.
Meanwhile, Hansen said drugs are the cause of all this. She said it can happen to any family.
“We have a problem, everybody has a problem,” she said. “And we need to take it very seriously.”