Amherst Man Pleads Insanity In Killing Of Mother

The Buffalo News
July 29, 2003

Jeremy M. Perkins, a mentally troubled Amherst man, today admitted that he killed his mother, stabbing her 77 times in March in their Hopkins Road home. He entered a plea of not responsible by reason of insanity.

Perkins calmly told Erie County Judge Shirley Troutman he now realizes that he "took a knife" and stabbed his mother, Ellie Perkins, 54.

Family members had been treating Perkins' schizophrenic condition only with vitamins for the past two years.

His attorney, John R. Nuchereno, told the judge Perkins was "somewhat catatonic" following his arrest hours after the stabbing last March 13 in the family's home in the 1400 block of Hopkins and for the first time in his life was administered anti-psychotic medications.

Homicide prosecutor Kenneth Forrest Case told the judge Perkins' father and sister "completely and fully favor" the plea of "not responsible by reason of mental defect or disability," based on court-ordered mental tests conducted after the killing. Troutman ordered further mental tests over the next two months.

Court officials said no sentencing proceeding will be scheduled until after court-ordered psychiatric experts determine whether Perkins remains dangerous to himself and others and needs treatment at a secure psychiatric facility.

The judge warned Perkins that he faces the possibility of extended care in a psychiatric hospital if he is determined to be "dangerous" to himself and society or if he violates any court- imposed conditions of mental care.

Case and Nuchereno said court-ordered psychiatric examinations of Perkins and his examination by psychiatric experts retained by both the defense and the Erie County district attorney's office determined he could not appreciated that the stabbing was wrong.

Even court-assigned psychiatric experts who examined Perkins and found him mentally fit for court proceedings determined that his history of schizophrenia and delusions made the "not responsible" plea appropriate, the prosecutor and defense attorney said.

Perkins' father, Donald, who operated a glass-painting business with his slain wife, was not at home at the time of the fatal incident. He was not in court today.

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