MANDEVILLE, La. -- Lisa Middleton is still grief-stricken at the thought of spending the beginning of 2014 making funeral plans for her brother, 35-year-old Jacob Middleton Sr. and his 2-year-old daughter Makayla Middleton.
"He wasn't a bad person. He was a good brother, good son and a damn good father," she said.
Authorities say 17-year-old Jacob Middleton Jr. admitted to shooting his father and half sister in a Covington area home because of his hatred for his father for what, he claimed, was years of abuse and family violence.
"For him to say that about his father, the one man who loved him, who took care of him -- they were young parents, but they did a damn good job," Middleton said.
Instead, family members say Jacob Jr. is the one with the troubled past, which includes several stints in St. Tammany's alternative school and time at the National Guard Youth Challenge Program for at-risk adolescents.
"The Jacob Jr. I know was so sweet, so kind,” said Middleton, “And it's just like night and day, he just changed."
They acknowledge, though, that there was a rocky end to the elder Middleton's long-time relationship with the teen's mother. Family members say that's when the son's bad behavior began, despite efforts by his father to help.
"I don't know what possessed Jacob Jr. to do this. Why, what he was on, where his mind was. I don't know but that was not my nephew," said Middleton.
Those are questions all of the families involved are now trying to work through, together.
Jacob Middleton Jr. is being held without bond in the St. Tammany Parish Jail on two counts of first-degree murder. Services for his father and half sister have been scheduled together at Mothe Funeral Home in Harvey with visitation on Sunday evening and the funeral on Monday morning at 10 a.m.