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Defendant charged with murdering his mother found insane

A judge ordered a 33-year-old man to indefinite confinement at a state mental hospital in Butner after a finding that he was "incapable of knowing the nature and quality of his actions in a rational and reality-based way" when he killed his mother, District Attorney Greg Newman announced on Tuesday.


Brendan Allen, formerly of 441 North Harper Drive, was ordered by Superior Court Judge Peter Knight on Monday to be transported to the N.C. Regional Hospital for an indefinite period of confinement. Following a hearing in Superior Court where three forensic psychiatrists testified that Allen suffers from severe schizophrenia, and did so at the time of his fatal assault on his mother in 2014, Judge Knight agreed with the doctors that Allen was incapable of knowing the nature and quality of his actions in a rational and reality-based way.  As such, it was determined by the Court that Allen was incapable of distinguishing right and wrong due to the effects of psychosis caused by Chronic Paranoid Schizophrenia.  By law, his charges for murder and larceny were dismissed by the Court and he will be hospitalized for what is expected to be several years.

“We indicted this case in early 2015, but we have been delayed several years now by Allen’s psychological illness and his continued hospitalization at Broughton,” said Newman, who represented the state in the hearing.  “The defense experts determined that Allen was insane at the time of the assault and our own doctor at Central Regional Hospital agreed. I have no evidence to refute these findings. In fact, when I viewed the video-taped interview of Allen at the Henderson County jail in early 2015, it was evident to me then that an insanity defense could be successfully argued at a trial. Judge Knight made the right call and did the only thing he could do in this situation,” Newman added.  “Allen’s condition, while better now than it has been in a long time, is still very advanced and the expectation is that he will be hospitalized for many years to come."

The Sheriff’s Department responded to a 911 call on Dec. 7, 2014, from 441 North Harper Drive in reference to an unresponsive female found inside the residence. The female was pronounced dead at the scene and identified as Margaret Kelly, the mother of the defendant. She died from stab wounds to her chest.

The defendant, her son, was located in Florida with Ms. Kelly’s car.  Detectives from the sheriff's office flew to Florida to interview Allen, but he would not respond to questions.  He was subsequently transported to Henderson County, where he did talk to investigators. He gave a rambling, and at times incoherent, statement where he admitted to killing his mother and added that he intended to go to Ohio to kill his father.  He was hearing voices and made several references to spirits. He referred to his dad as “Satan” and his mother as ”Babylon” and that they were “leaders of a rebellion against God.”  It is unknown why he went to Florida instead of Ohio following the stabbing of his mother.