Breaking From Bad

From Meth and Murder to Redemption

As JT sat across from the investigators during his interview, he heard a voice speak to his heart: “JT, if you cross this line, there’s no coming back.”

JT interrupted the interview and told the investigators he needed to make a confession — he was the one they were looking for. He was the murderer.

At the age of 40, JT murdered his own grandmother while high on methamphetamine. He was convicted and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.


JT’s life was out of control before he committed murder, but he tried not to let anyone know. On the outside, he appeared to be a successful businessman, but his addiction to meth could not be tamed.

One night, after JT had been using for many days, he began hearing voices. And while his grandmother slept, he killed her.

“This was a woman who loved me passionately with her whole heart,” JT shares from the yard at Folsom State Prison. “Throughout my entire life growing up, she was my best friend, and I loved her dearly.”

“JT, if you cross this line, there’s no coming back.”

The meth made it difficult for JT to remember all the details of what had happened, but he knew enough. After his confession, he was arrested and held in the county jail. For weeks, he wept.

“My pastor would come in to the county jail, and he would be on the other side of the glass, and I would just be weeping,” JT remembers. “I couldn’t even speak to him. I was just so broken. Completely broken.

JT’s pastor would sit and listen. And when JT would begin to grow “uncontrollable,” the pastor would sing, “God is so good, God is so good.”

“It would calm me down,” JT says.


“If you’re thinking you don’t have any hope, think again, my friend.”

It was in that county jail that JT cried out to God for help. JT remembers how God showed him who he had become. “He said, ‘This is who you really are,’ “ JT explains. “ ‘You’re a liar. You’re a thief. You’re an adulterer. You’re an abandoner of your children. And now you’re a murderer, and you need a Savior.’

“And I asked Christ to come into my life and save me.”

That was 16 years ago. Since then, JT has faithfully served Jesus in prison. He’s been incarcerated in some of California’s toughest prisons and credits God for protecting him. “He has been so kind and compassionate to me,” JT says.

While JT is still in prison, he has seen a change in his life. He has been able to mend his relationship with his mother, and he continues to pray and have faith that he will be reconciled to his children one day.

“If you think whatever you’ve done is too great for God to love you, and for God to save you, I would say you’re wrong. Because God loved you so much that He gave heaven’s best to save the world’s worst.

“If you’re thinking you don’t have any hope, think again, my friend, because you do. Jesus loves you very much.”


At Prison Fellowship, we “remember those in prison.” We believe in second chances, and that prison should be a place of rehabilitation. Through our programs, we offer incarcerated men and women hope, encouragement, and support, so that people like JT can be transformed.



Crack cocaine. Prostitution. Murder. Lisa was running from a past haunted by her crimes. And the fear and guilt were overwhelming.

Lyle shuffled into the county jail wearing shackles, a waist chain, and cuffs around his wrists. As the officer prepared to escort Lyle to his cell, he called out, “Clear the corridor! Dead man walking.”

Originally published at on June 9, 2017.

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