A Massachusetts judge ordered a 27-year-old man who is accused of murdering his mother and seriously injuring his stepfather held without bail. The man learned of his fate during an arraignment hearing held in Newburyport District Court on March 2. He has been charged with assault with the intent to kill and the assault, battery and murder of a person over 60 years of age. Police have yet to identify a motive for the Feb. 29 incidents.

According to an Amesbury Police Department report, officers were dispatched to a residence on Chester Street at approximately 4:06 p.m. They arrived to find a badly-injured elderly couple. A 65-year-old woman succumbed to her wounds while being airlifted to a nearby medical facility. Her 65-year-old husband is recovering in hospital from what are described as severe but not life-threatening injuries. Police say the man used a small knife to commit the crimes because the makeshift gun that he brought with him did not work.

The man is said to have been seen running from the scene of the crime barefoot and covered in blood. His father told reporters that his son suffers from schizophrenia and has been hospitalized many times because of paranoid delusions. When interviewed by police, the man allegedly told detectives that he was friends with President Donald Trump and related to Queen Elizabeth II.

Prosecutors must establish criminal intent to convict individuals of committing violent crimes like murder and assault. When presented with facts like these, experienced criminal defense attorneys may seek to have their clients examined by mental health professionals to determine whether or not they are capable of forming the mens rea necessary to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. When these examinations reveal a mental defect or impediment, attorneys may mount a defense based on insanity.