CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A Dix Hills man who is charged with badly beating his mother in the same house where his brother was found dead has a history of psychiatric issues, authorities said.
Charles Okonkwo Jr., 18, is charged with assault in the critical injury of his mother. He is being held on $1 million bond.
He has not been charged in the death of his 15-year-old brother, Bradley, authorities said. Police were awaiting autopsy results Monday.
Authorities said Charles Okonkwo Jr. admitted to hurting his mother and brother, WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs reported.
Police were called to the family’s Dix Hills home Saturday night. The boys’ father, Charles Okonkwo Sr., 62, said he had just returned to his home at 3 Norman Court. following a hospital stay when he discovered his son was dead and his wife had suffered severe injuries, police said. The younger Charles Okonkwo had fled the scene in a green 2002 BMW X5, but police later located him a short distance from the home.
Newsday reported Monday that the mother, Chinwe Okonkwo, 52, is in critical but stable condition at Stony Brook Hospital.
Charles Okonkwo Jr.’s attorney called the case “complicated.”
Many in the Dix Hills community were stunned by the developments.
One neighbor described the Okonkwos to Xirinachs as the perfect family.
As CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez reported Sunday, Charles Okonkwo Sr. broke down and sobbed as he walked down the driveway of his home. Waiting to greet him were Bradley’s grieving friends.
“Your friend is dead,” Okonkwo Sr. told Bradley’s friends. “Your friend is dead.”
“What the family needs right now is prayers. We ask people to pray for us,” said the family’s pastor, the Rev. Gideon Uzomechina. “This is a very big time of trial.”
Frank Torres and his son, who was friends with the brothers, came to the family’s house Sunday afternoon to lay flowers.
“It doesn’t make any sense,” Torres said. “It’s unfortunate — things that happen today — and it just, it, broke my heart.”
Calvin Cruz, who was also at the house Sunday, said he was Bradley Okonkwo’s best friend.
“I knew Charles (Jr.) had his problems and stuff,” he said. “I never knew he’d do something like this.”
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