A Long Island man has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the death of his mother, who was found bludgeoned with an ax in a bedroom at her home last month, authorities say.
Sean Farrell, 24, appeared in court Friday. He was arrested Thursday, more than a month after his father found his mother, 45-year-old Bonnie Farrell, with a head injury Dec. 9, police say.
Prosecutors allege Farrell hit his mother multiple times with an ax, then checked himself into Bellevue's psychiatric ward. Prosecutors say he made statements to family members, primarily his grandmother, while in the hospital implicating himself in his mother's death.
In a statement to police, Farrell's grandmother Letitia Dunn wrote, "Sean told me he was scared and confused. He told me he killed my daughter and that he was selfish and should have killed himself."
Farrell's court-appointed attorney says his client has a history of schizophrenia. He also said Farrell never told anyone he had killed his mother.
Reached at his Medford home Friday, Farrell's grandfather said: "We love our grandson, and we don't want to see him in prison. We want to see him in a hospital where he belongs."
Gene Dunn said schizophrenia "is a dangerous disease, and we didn't know how dangerous it was, unfortunately."
Bonnie Farrell worked as a nurse supervisor at a nonprofit that assists families with ailing children.
Her son was remanded without bail. He faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted of killing her.