Son arrested in woman's fatal stabbing

The Buffalo News
March 14, 2003
by T.J. PIGNATARO, News Staff Reporter

An argument that exploded Thursday morning ended in the death of an Amherst woman who was stabbed by her 28-year-old son, police said. The body of Elli Perkins, 54, was discovered on a bedroom floor of her home in the 1400 block of Hopkins Road about 10:30 a.m., Amherst Police Chief John J. Moslow said. She had been stabbed several times in the chest, police said. An autopsy is being conducted.

Jeremy M. Perkins was arraigned late Thursday before Amherst Town Justice Geoffrey K. Klein on second-degree murder and weapons possession charges. A not guilty plea was entered, and Perkins was ordered to submit to a psychiatric evaluation today. Police were summoned by an acquaintance of the victim, who entered the house after she became concerned "something was not right," Moslow said. Jeremy Perkins was also in the house, submitted to questioning and was charged with the slaying, Moslow said. The victim's husband, Donald E. Perkins, was at work at the time of the slaying. Jeremy Perkins was convicted in 1994 of driving while impaired, in the Town of Clarence.

Glenn Gramigna of Buffalo, who said he is a close friend of the family, said Jeremy Perkins developed schizophrenia in the last year. "He began hearing voices and talking to people who weren't there, taking long walks. There hadn't been any indication he had ever been violent," Gramigna said. His parents had been helping their son cope with the disease through nutrition, vitamins and medical treatment, he said. "Just to think that someone who was such a gentle, loving person would meet such a horrible end is just devastating," Gramigna said. Police remained at the Hopkins Road crime scene through the afternoon. Yellow tape surrounded the perimeter of the century-old house.

Mrs. Perkins, originally from the Rochester area, and her husband of about 30 years operate Glass Art, a glass-painting business. According to the firm's Web site, Mrs. Perkins attended art school at Rochester Institute of Technology. Donald Perkins, a contractor, is a cabinetmaker and carpenter.

The Perkinses also have a married daughter, Gramigna said.

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