Friday, July 10, 2009

Murderous Mom Overdoses Son, age 10, Sends Him Off to "Heavenly" NeverLand

Will he see Michael?

Charges: Woman, children planned suicide together

Jennifer Simonson, Star Tribune

Jan Burnett reacted after her daughter, Patricia Becht, 42, of South St. Paul, was charged with first-degree murder and first-degree attempted murder Friday morning at the Dakota County Judicial Center. Becht's 10-year-old son Michael Vonheath Becht, Jr., is dead.

A South St. Paul mother told police that she and her two young children had planned to commit suicide together and took overdoses of an antipsychotic medication, which killed 10-year-old Michael Becht on Monday, according to charges filed this morning.

Patricia Becht, 42, was charged in Dakota County with first-degree murder and attempted murder in the July 6 death of her son and the attempted killing of her 11-year-old daughter, Erica.

The charges say numerous pill bottles, including Seroquel, an antipsychotic medication, were found in the room where Michael Becht's body was found. Patricia Becht allegedly told police during a hospital interview that she gave each of her children 10 of the pills and took 25 herself.

It could take weeks for investigators to get the results of toxicology tests, which will determine what substances were in the Bechts' bodies.

Becht had plotted to kill herself and her two young children and had talked to them about going to heaven, which, she told them, was like Michael Jackson's home, Neverland.

Judge Robert Carolan set bail at $1 million without conditions, or $750,000 with conditions, including that she not see any children unless approved and overseen by social service workers.

He also ordered psychiatric evaluations to determine whether she is mentally ill and if she is competent to stand trial. She had threatened suicide in the past, said Dakota County Attorney Jim Backstrom.

Becht had written a suicide note to a teen-age daughter who was not home and was not planned for the killing, the charges say.

Officers found a letter, written by Becht, saying that the older daughter would not be coming with them, though the girl wouldn't understand why not, and that Becht and the two younger children were "at peace."

In another note, she wrote: "I don't have much to say, only that we are happy to be gone."

Erica Becht remains hospitalized and is expected to recover.


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