COLD SPRING HARBOR, N.Y. -- Police say a young New York man has confessed to putting his mother in a chokehold, dragging her into the deep end of the family pool and intentionally drowning her, reports CBS New York.
Suffolk County police say 23-year-old Denis Cullen, Jr. faces a second-degree murder charge in the death of his mother, Elizabeth Cullen.
Lloyd Harbor police were called to their home in Long Island’s Cold Spring Harbor Wednesday after receiving a request to check on the welfare of the 63-year-old woman,
“This is a son who killed his mother and the way he killed her, the way he describes how it was done, was chilling,” Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney Robert Biancavilla said in court at the man’s arraignment Thursday.
According to the station, prosecutors say the younger Cullen confessed on video to the crime, telling investigators he fought with his mother Wednesday morning after she scolded him for not taking his medication. Cullen allegedly admitted to putting her in a headlock, dragging her into the deep end of the pool and holding her under water as the woman fought for her life.
“He said she struggled violently and he was very surprised that a woman of her stature could struggle as much as she did,” Biancavilla said. “He waited until she stopped moving and then carried the body out of the pool.”
Cullen allegedly tried to hide his mother’s body next to a shed before stealing her wallet and car, Biancavilla said, according to CBS New York. He then went into New York City where he confesed the crime to his sister, prosecutors said.
As investigators were processing the scene, Cullen returned to the home, where he was arrested without incident. The suspect reportedly lived in the home with his mother.
Authorites say he has no criminal history.
“There’s a lot of work to be done,” Cullen’s defense attorney, Steve Fondulis, told the station. “I have to determine if he has a psychiatric background, I have to determine if he’s under a doctor’s care and I have to look at the videotape.”
There’s no word about a possible motive or Cullen’s mental state at the time of the crime.
If convicted, Cullen faces 25 years to life in state prison.