When police found the son of a murdered woman covered in blood, prosecutors say the Chicago man gave officers an unexpected explanation: Satan had possessed him to kill his mother.
Joseph Nerone, 54, was charged with the fatal stabbing of 84-year-old Elaine Nerone, whose body was found in the home she shared with her adult son on the Northwest Side, according to ABC Chicago. Joseph Nerone has a previous battery conviction from April 2011.
After failing to appear at a scheduled visit with his probation officer, prosecutors say police went looking for Nerone, and found Elaine dead, apparently having sustained multiple stab wounds and evidence of blunt force trauma, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
Under questioning, Joseph Nerone, wearing blood-stained clothing, told police that "Satan killed the victim and that Satan was inside him," Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney Terry Clancy said in court Sunday, according to the newspaper.
Nerone was arrested Friday, and his public defender cited his history of mental health problems, prompting Cook County Judge James Brown to order a psychological examination, according to the Chicago Tribune. In his 2011 battery trial, Nerone was initially declared unfit, then later ruled fit to stand trial and sentenced to 18 months of supervision.
The alleged murder of Elaine Nerone marks the second time Joseph Nerone has blamed his suspected violent behavior on spiritual beings--Assistant State's Attorney Terry Clancy noted that Nerone claimed he was God during the incident last April, WGN reports.