Police: Man who 'hears voices' tried to murder mother, commit suicide

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Isaac William Benson By Catherine Holland Isaac William Benson By Catherine Holland
Isaac William Benson By Catherine Holland Isaac William Benson By Catherine Holland

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- A man is facing attempted murder and assault charges after admittedly trying to kill his mother and then himself.

Police arrested Isaac William Benson over the weekend.

According to investigators, Benson, 23, attacked his mother, waiting for her outside the bathroom of their Glendale apartment early Saturday morning.

According to court paperwork, Benson grabbed his mother by the throat and apologized, saying he had to kill her. The victim told investigators she struggled with Benson but was unable to fight her way free of his grip.

The arresting officer said Benson kept choking his mother until she passed out. Believing her dead, he went to the bathroom and tried to commit suicide by stabbing himself with a folding knife.

The victim survived and submitted to a forensic exam. The nurse's report documented 20 injuries, all of which were consistent with strangulation.

Police said Benson talked to them after they read him his Miranda rights.

It is not clear if Benson has a history of mental health issues, but his conversation with police raises the possibility.

"[H]e felt he was going to die by a violent death, indicating he regularly hears voices and strange sounds," the arresting officer wrote in his probable cause statement. "[Benson] felt if he killed [his mother], her death would be less violent than the death he felt they would experience at a later time by unknown means."

Benson told investigators he thought he had successfully killed his mother, according to court documents.

Police said Benson resisted arrest, and they had to use a stun gun to take him into custody.

They also said this is not the first time Benson allegedly attacked his mother. They say he assaulted her in Phoenix on three separate occasions.

Citing potential danger to people in the community, a judge denied Benson bail.

Benson is due back in court on Jan. 26 for a status conference, followed by a preliminary hearing on Jan. 29.