Easthampton Man Charged With Burning Mother

Discussion in 'New England' started by kwflatbed, May 25, 2010.

  1. kwflatbed

    kwflatbed Subscribing Member MC1+MC2 +MC3 111K+Poster

    An Easthampton man accused of spraying lighter fluid on his 83-year-old mother then using a match to set her on fire has been ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation.

    A judge in Northampton District Court on Monday sent 56-year-old Gary Cernak to Bridgewater State Hospital to determine whether he is competent to stand trial. Cernak's lawyer asked that he be evaluated closer to home because he has no criminal record.

    Easthampton Man Charged With Burning Elderly Mother - wbztv.com
  2. LGriffin

    LGriffin Supporting Member

    Gary Cernak of Easthampton found innocent by reason of mental illness in attempted murder of his mother

    A Hampshire Superior Court judge found Gary B. Cernak innocent by reason of mental illness Monday in the attempted murder of his mother.
    Cernak, 58, doused his mother Dorothy Cernak with lighter fluid and set her on fire in the Easthampton home they shared at 222 Park St. on May 23, 2010. He admitted to the deed when police arrived shortly afterwards in response to a call from Dorothy Cernak about her son’s well being. Police found Cernak outside the house eating salsa without chips.
    “I just killed my mother,” Cernak told them, according to police reports. “I poured lighter fluid on her and set her on fire.”
    Dorothy Cernak, then 83, suffered burns to her face and upper body. Her hair was also burned off, according to police. Cernak was charged with attempted murder, arson, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and arson.
    However, Judge C. Jeffrey Kinder accepted the reports of two forensic psychologists who examined Cernak and found that he suffers from paranoid schizophrenia and could not understand the wrongness of his actions. As summarized by defense lawyer Thomas E. Robinson, the psychologists found that Cernak believed his mother and other family members were in the Mafia or the FBI and that a dentist had implanted a listening device in his teeth. Cernak believed he received messages through his teeth, Robinson said, among which was that his mother was an evil “double agent.”
    Robinson said Cernak also believed President Barack Obama spoke to him and that Cernak emailed Obama with information about double agents in his family.
    Prosecutor Matthew D. Thomas did not contest the findings by the psychologists but said an independent doctor who examined Cernak at Bridgewater State Hospital, where he has been held since his arraignment in 2010, could not positively conclude that Cernak was unable to realize the wrongfulness of his actions.
    Kinder nonetheless found the defendant innocent and ordered that he be sent back to Bridgewater for further examination. Dorothy Cernak has fully recovered from her burns, but was unable to be present in court Monday verdict because of heart problems, according to Robinson.
  3. Kilvinsky

    Kilvinsky I think, therefore I'll never be promoted.

    Robinson said Cernak also believed President Barack Obama spoke to him and that Cernak emailed Obama with information about double agents in his family.

    I KNEW there was something wrong about Obama. That settles it, I'm NOT voting for him this time either; Not if this is the type of person who works with president obama!

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