Joseph Kearns arraigned in court for allegedly stabbing mother to death, injuring sister in Babylon home

The Babylon man accused of stabbing his mother to death and injuring his sister was arraigned in court this morning.

Joseph Kearns, 33, was charged with second-degree murder and attempted murder for the stabbings that happened Friday morning in his family's Livingston Avenue home.

Kearns' mother, Mina Kearns, 79, died at the hospital. Kathleen Kearns, 59, was listed in stable condition with stab wounds to her head and face.

Prosecutors say the suspect admitted to police that he was behind the stabbings.

Investigators say the incident stemmed from a dispute that started Thursday afternoon, apparently over whether Kearns was taking the correct medication.

Police say Kearns, who is adopted, left the home after the argument, prompting a search for him involving K-9 and aviation units due to concerns about his condition. Kearns returned home just after 7 a.m. Friday, which is when police say he stabbed the two family members, then fled to a nearby park, where he was arrested.

Kearns spoke briefly to a News 12 reporter today as he was led to court by police for his arraignment. "I hope they're still alive," he said. Asked if he was sorry for what he'd done, Kearns replied, "Yes."

In court, Kearns said to the judge, "All my life, I've never been the predator in my family. All my life, my family has been the predator, and I've been the prey."

The judge ordered Kearns to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

If convicted, he faces 50 years to life behind bars. Kearns is due back in court on Sept. 17.

Neighbors on Livingston Avenue who spoke with News 12 described Joseph Kearns as a troubled man with mental health and drug issues. They say Mina Kearns spent her life dedicated to her nine biological children, and to Joseph, whom she had adopted when he was a toddler.

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