DERBY — A man accused of killing his mother in their Orange home called 911 to report the crime, and when officers found him walking down the street a short time later with a cellphone and a Bible, he repeatedly said, "I killed her," according to court documents.
Timothy Granata, 22, appeared Friday before Judge Karen Sequino at Superior Court in Derby on charges that he killed his mother, Claudia Granata, 58, in their home at 130 Wild Rose Drive on Thursday.
Charles E. Tiernan III, Granata's lawyer, told the judge that his client suffers from psychological problems and asked that Granata be transferred to the Garner Correctional Institution in Newtown for an evaluation. Prisoners with psychiatric problems are typically held at Garner.
"It's important that the judge knows that," Tiernan said outside the courtroom. "There's some indication that he may have had a hospitalization at some time."
Tiernan said he believed that Granata's hospitalization might have occurred within the past six to eight months, but that Granata was not currently taking any medication.
"There is a definitive past history [of mental health issues] that I think needs to be explored," Tiernan told the judge.
Tiernan said that he had spoken with both Timothy Granata and his father, Attilio V. Granata, earlier in the day, and that his father was trying to be as supportive of Timothy as he could be.
"It's a horribly, horribly devastating situation," Tiernan said. "It's absolutely destroyed this family."
A police report released by the court said that Timothy Granata called 911 at 2:20 p.m. and told them he had just committed a murder. When police arrived, they found him walking down Wild Rose Drive carrying a cellphone in his left hand and a Bible in his right.
Police said that as Granata was being arrested, he repeatedly said, "I killed her" and "I stabbed her," referring to his mother.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled Claudia Granata's death a homicide and listed the cause as blunt impact and sharp force trauma to the head, neck, torso and extremities.
Police said that the ground floor room where Claudia Granata's body was found showed signs of a struggle.
In the courtroom Friday, Granata, shackled and dressed in a white inmate's jumpsuit, stared at the floor as he was being arraigned. At one point he began to cry and started to drop to his knees before a judicial marshal held him up. When Sequino asked Granata if he suffered from any medical conditions, he said that he suffered from joint and lower back pain.
Tiernan asked that Granata's bond be reduced to $750,000, but prosecutor John Kerwin said that because of the serious nature of the crime, Granata was a risk to the community.
Granata's bond was set at $2 million, and his case was transferred to Part A court in Milford, where more serious crimes are heard. Granata is next scheduled to appear in court on the charges on Aug. 5.
Tiernan said that Granata has three siblings, is a graduate of the Hopkins School in New Haven and was a student at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, where he was close to completing his degree.
Courant Staff Writers Christine Dempsey and Nicholas Rondinone contributed to this story.