A Maryland mother allegedly assaulted her autistic son with a bow saw because she felt “overwhelmed,” according to reports.
The mother, Kristina Petrie, 46, was charged with attempted first-degree murder, first-degree child abuse and second-degree child abuse, according to case information from the District Court of Maryland.
Petrie allegedly came at her 11-year-old autistic son with a saw on March 12 at their home in Aspen Hill east of Rockville, according to a police report obtained by WJLA in Washington. She was arrested and held without bond at the County District Court in Rockville and is scheduled to appear in court April 20. If convicted, she could face up to life in prison, with an additional 40 years.
The victim told Montgomery County police investigators that he came home from school and found his younger brother crying on the couch and that his mother was both crying and laughing. The boy told police that he went upstairs to play video games before beginning his homework. He said Petrie then came into the room carrying a bow saw, asking him why he wasn’t doing his work.
“Victim A stated that he ended up in the kneeling position as Kristina Petrie ‘jammed’ the bow saw into the back of his neck, moved it back and forth multiple times and ‘tried to kill’ him,” the court document said, according to the news outlet.
The 11-year-old managed to grab the saw and escape from his mother, who is 5-foot-6 and 175 pounds, according to the report.
Petrie allegedly contacted her husband and revealed what she had done. The husband then rushed home and took her to MedStar Montgomery Medical Center where she reportedly told staff that she felt “overwhelmed.” Petrie also explained that she felt she “was not doing enough to help her children with their autism.”
“Kristina Petrie stated that she did not want her children to grow up to be a burden to society and that the children needed to die,” the court document said.
When asked why she was at the hospital, the mother told staff that she “tried to kill her kids again.” However, it was not immediately clear if Petrie previously tried to hurt her kids. A search of Maryland court records only revealed the current case, WFXT in Boston reported.
Authorities observed the 11-year-old boy three days after the alleged incident and noted “several thin lines” and broken skin with “scabbing” on the back of the child’s neck, the court record noted.
Petrie’s defense attorney, Sharon Diamant, told WJLA that the mother had “absolutely no intent” to cause anyone harm. When asked about her client’s mental well being, the attorney declined to comment.