Police say ‘overwhelmed' mom tried to behead son with bow saw

The woman allegedly tried to behead her 11-year-old son with a bow saw.

March 29, 2018, 6:29 AM

A Maryland mother was charged with attempted murder after allegedly trying to decapitate her 11-year-old son with a bow saw because she felt "overwhelmed" by his autism diagnosis, according to charging documents.

Kristina Petrie, 46, was denied bail at her bond hearing on Tuesday, which she attended via jailhouse video. She is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in Rockville, Maryland, on April 20.

Petrie allegedly called her husband and confessed that she attempted to behead her oldest son with a bow saw on March 12, according to a charging affidavit obtained by ABC affiliate WJLA.

The child said he was playing video games when his mother came into his room with the saw in her hand, asking him why he wasn't doing his homework, according to the affidavit. She then raised the saw and began to chase after him, eventually pinning him down in "the kneeling position" as she "jammed" the saw's teeth against the back of his neck, according to the charging documents.

The boy told police that "he screamed out loud" and that his mother, who he said was also crying and screaming, had "tried to kill" him, the documents said. The boy managed to escape and protect himself until his father returned home from work.

Investigators said they observed "several thin lines" and broken skin with "scabbing" on the boy's neck, according to the charging documents. There were also red cuts and marks on his left shoulder, back and left hand.

Petrie's husband told authorities that he took her to a local hospital, where she allegedly told staff that she felt "overwhelmed" and that her husband "was not doing enough to help her children with their autism," the affidavit said.

When staff asked Petrie why she was at the hospital, she allegedly said it was because she "tried to kill her kids again," adding that the children "needed to die," according to the affidavit. She also said she feared they would "grow up to be a burden to society" because of their special needs.

Petrie has been charged with attempted first-degree murder, first-degree child abuse and second-degree child abuse, according to Montgomery County District Court records. Her defense attorney, Sharon Diamant, told WJLA her client had "absolutely no intent" to harm anyone.

When asked about possible mental health issues, Diamant said she was unable to discuss such a topic at this time, according to WJLA.