Police in Maryland have charged a Rockville area woman with trying to saw the head off her 11-year-old son with autism, according to court documents.
Kristina Naranch Petrie, 46, is charged with attempted first-degree murder, first-degree child abuse and second-degree child abuse, according to Montgomery County District Court records.
Petrie told staff at MedStar Montgomery Medical Center, where her husband took her March 12 after the alleged crime, that she "felt overwhelmed and that she was not doing enough to help her children with their autism, according to a charging affidavit obtained by ABC7 in Washington. Petrie lives with her husband and two sons in a two-story, red brick home in the middle-class Aspen Hill area just east of Rockville.
"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 stated.
She reportedly admitted to hospital staff that she tried to cut her son’s head off with a saw. The affidavit also alleges that at one point during her treatment, when she was asked why she was at the hospital, she responded that she “tried to kill her kids again.”
It was not immediately clear if Petrie has a record of trying to harm her sons, but a search of Maryland court records turned up only the current case.
Petrie’s 11-year-old son, the victim in the case, told Montgomery County police investigators that he arrived home from school on March 12 to find his younger brother crying on the sofa.
His mother was alternating between crying and laughing, the boy told police.
The boy said he went upstairs to play a video game before starting his homework. A short time later, his mother appeared at his doorway and asked why he wasn’t doing his work.
She had a bow saw in her hand as she asked the question, the affidavit said.
When he said he would start his homework soon, she allegedly raised the saw toward him, and the boy told detectives he tried to run into the hallway.
“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 document said.
The boy said he started screaming, and that his mother was screaming and crying. He was ultimately able to get the saw away from her.
The boy suffered injuries that, three days later, appeared to detectives as "several thin lines with the skin broken and some scabbing," the affidavit stated. He also had visible cuts on his left shoulder and red marks in a diagonal pattern on his back between his shoulder blades.
The victim also had small cuts on his left hand.
The younger son was apparently unharmed in the attack.
Andrew Petrie, the boy’s father, told investigators that his wife called him the afternoon of the incident and told him that she’d attacked their son with a saw, the court document said. He rushed home and took his wife to the hospital.
ABC7 reported that Kristina Petrie's defense attorney, Sharon Diamant, said her client had "absolutely no intent" to harm anyone. She said that Petrie, who has been "happily married" for 15 years, has no prior criminal history and loves her children.
She said critical facts would come to light as the case progresses, but when asked about possible mental health issues at play, she declined to comment, the news station reported.