Mom: Child-slay suspect is mentally ill

January 4, 2010 6:55:27 AM PST
The mother of a Manhattan man charged with killing a 9-year-old New Jersey boy says her son has suffered from mental illness for about a decade. Antonia Morales says in a New York Times interview that 25-year-old Alejandro Morales has been treated for schizophrenia.

Morales says her son told her on Christmas Eve that he wanted to kill someone. She says she tried to calm him and get him to return to a Brooklyn halfway house.

Anthony Maldonado, of Palisades Park, N.J., was stabbed early Saturday while visiting a Harlem housing project.

Morales says her son was paroled from a prison near Buffalo in May after serving five years for assault.

In August, he was charged with punching a man in Manhattan.