Defense attorney describes man accused of fatally stabbing mom as 'very sick'

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STONY BROOK -

A Center Moriches man was arraigned Tuesday at Stony Brook University Hospital in the stabbing death of his mother. 

Christopher Storm Harrison, 26, is accused of stabbing his mother, Joyce Skarka, inside their Union Avenue home shortly before 10 p.m. Friday. Harrison sat expressionless in a wheelchair during his arraignment on second-degree murder charges. The arraignment took place inside a small hospital conference room.

Defense attorney Robert Del Col entered a not guilty plea and stated that Harrison was a "very sick individual." 

"My conversations with him, while privileged, revealed to me that he has a lack of understanding of what's going on," said Del Col. 

As News 12 has reported, police officers went to the Center Moriches home Friday night and found Harrison's mother stabbed to death and lying in her bathtub. Prosecutors say Skarka had two large incisions across her neck. They say they believe the 53-year-old was killed in the kitchen and that Harrison then dragged her body into the bathroom. 

"Throughout the home there was a smell. Whether it was gasoline or kerosene, we can't say," said Assistant District Attorney Laura Newcombe. 

She said the smell of gas was strongest in the bathroom and tub where Skarka was found. 

Prosecutors say Harrison turned himself in to police and said, “I had a fight with my mother and she’s dead.” 

It was not clear what the fight was about, though prosecutors say he did quit his job at Home Goods earlier in the day. 

Harrison was remanded without bail. It is not yet known when he will leave Stony Brook University Hospital.

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