Mom 'overwhelmed' by son's autism tried to decapitate him with bow saw, police say

ASPEN HILL, Md. – A Maryland mother accused of trying to kill her son with a bow saw told hospital staff she was "overwhelmed" by the boy's autism and feared he would be a burden on society, according to WJLA.

Kristina Petrie, 46, has been charged with attempted first-degree murder and child abuse in the March 12 incident.

According to charging documents obtained by WJLA, Petrie's 11-year-old son came home from school that Monday and saw his younger brother in tears and his mother crying one minute, then laughing the next.

After the boy went to his room to play video games, his mother allegedly followed him up. With a bow saw in hand, she asked him why he wasn't doing homework instead.

The boy tried to run, but his mother gave chase, according to the document, pinning him down and pulling the long-toothed saw back and forth across the boy's neck "multiple times" while crying and screaming. The 11-year-old somehow managed to rip the bow saw out of his mother's hand and run to safety, the document says.

A neighbor came over, and the boy's father, Andrew Petrie, came home and took his wife to the hospital.

While at Montgomery General, Kristina Petrie told a hospital employee that "she felt overwhelmed and that she was not doing enough to help her children with their autism," and that she "did not want her children to grow up to be a burden to society," according to police.

When asked why she was at the hospital, Petrie responded that she "tried to kill her kids again," and admitted she was going to cut off her son's head with the saw when he got home from school that day, according to the court documents.

Investigators photographed the boy's injuries three days after the incident, and police described "several thin lines with the skin broken and some scabbing," along with cuts to his left shoulder and left hand. He also had red marks on his upper back.

An attorney for Petrie told WJLA her client had "absolutely no intent" to hurt her child, adding that she happy in her marriage of 15 years and loved her children and husband. The defense lawyer, Sharon Diamant, alluded to information that she wasn't prepared to released but would help explain Petrie's "behavior."

Petrie is due back in court on April 20.