A judge Tuesday ordered Jeremy M. Perkins, who killed his mother last spring, to get another six months of psychiatric treatment at a secure state mental health facility in Rochester.
Erie County Judge Shirley Troutman issued the ruling after a hearing in which forensic psychiatrists R.P. Singh and Gary N. Rosenberg testified that Perkins, 28, is “acutely psychotic” even after months of treatment with medication.
Perkins stabbed his 54-year-old mother, Ellie, 77 times in their home on Hopkins Road in Amherst on March 13. In July, he entered a plea of mentally not responsible.
Under state law for the criminally insane, Perkins will be reassessed in 18 months and then every two years until he is found mentally competent to be released from a secure facility.
Perkins’ schizophrenia was being treated with vitamins and herbs by his parents, Church of Scientology “auditors” who rejected modern psychiatry. On Tuesday, John R. Nuchereno, Perkins’ attorney, told the judge that had his client been given psychiatric treatment instead of being treated at a Church of Scientology medical facility, “his mother would be alive today.”
Singh said Perkins will never be cured but, with proper medications and therapy, can eventually “lead a functional and good life.” He said Perkins likely would relapse into violent behavior should he stop taking anti-psychotic medications.
The two psychiatrists testified that after Perkins was arrested in August 2002 at a local college, where he fought with campus police while searching the parking lots for a woman his internal “voices” had told him to find, his mother prevented him from getting the psychiatric treatment jail officials felt he needed.
Rosenberg and Singh said Perkins apparently objected to his mother’s efforts to force him to take large quantities of vitamins. On March 13, he forced her into a bedroom and repeatedly stabbed her because he feared she planned to harm him.
Perkins, a Williamsville North High School dropout, killed his mother while they were alone at home. A neighbor called police, and Perkins initially tried to make it appear that someone had broken into the home and killed her.
The two veteran psychiatrists began examining Perkins at the end of December after Troutman threatened to hold acting State Mental Health Commissioner Sharon Carpinello in contempt of court for ignoring court orders for further testing of Perkins.
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