Family says man accused of killing brother suffers from post-war stress

Agnes Townsend, 75, of Latta can't explain the hurt she feels. She's mourning the death of one grandson and is hurting for the other.

"I can't tell you the sorrow in my heart."

Deputies with the Dillon County Sheriff's Office say John "Mac" Lane, 31, killed his younger brother, Bradley Lane, near Latta last Sunday.

"I feel like his mind just couldn't take anymore. We don't know what happened. We may never know," Townsend said.

Mac Lane returned from Iraq in 2005 after spending a year there as a South Carolina National Guardsman, and Townsend said he's never been the same.

"When he came to live with me and his mother he was like, I say the best description would be like a zombie...He was totally different. He could not just finish a sentence if you ask him something and he would just sit and try to concentrate but he could not. He'd start a sentence and would try to finish but could not and he went through that for a good while," she said.

Townsend and Mac's paternal grandparents got him help in 2006. She said after he spent five weeks in the hospital, he was doing better - spending a lot of time in the church, and helping her around the home.

A month ago he moved out of Townsend's home to take care of his little brother, Bradley, whom he's now accused of killing.

"He was trying to be a father to his brother, and he had done numerous things for him to try to help him. Took him anywhere he needed to go provided what he needed," Townsend told us.

Townsend knows she may never learn what happened between the brothers last Sunday, but believes Mac's failure to take his medication may have affected his state of mind.

"He had recently not taken his medication since he moved out like he should, and I know all of it together was just bombarding his mind and he probably was going back into some of the old memories and things and didn't realize the depth of what he was doing."

She says her family is disturbed by the way Mac looks in his mugshot, beliving it's an indication that something is wrong.

Townsend will rely on her faith in God to pull the family through. They will bury Bradley on Thursday.

"We will miss him. There's no words to say how we'll miss him," Townsend said.

Deputies haven't released a cause of death or a motive.