According to authorities, Robert Swenson, a 27-year old Newark man with an alleged history of mental illness, has now been charged with Murder and Weapons offenses, in connection with the death of his 56-year old mother, Francine Swenson.
Police were summoned to the Swenson residence on 14th Avenue in Newark shortly after 6am on Monday, April 15th. Upon their arrival, they found Francine Swenson, who appeared to have been stabbed several times in the face and chest. They also found Robert Swenson, Francine’s son, who was covered in Francine’s blood. Robert Swenson initially told law enforcement that he stabbed his mother accidentally, but later changed his story, saying that the attack was intentional and that “God told him” to do it. He was arrested by members of the Newark Police Department Special Victim’s Unit.
Francine Swenson was rushed from the scene to University Hospital. She died yesterday, April 18th, from complications related to her injuries.
Because the victim was Robert Swenson’s mother, the incident has been characterized as one of domestic violence.
A spokeswoman for the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office denied to comment on Robert Swenson’s mental state or elaborate on his history of mental illness, but did confirm that Swenson is currently being held at the Essex County jail in lieu of $750,000 bail.
For more information, see the Star-Ledger article entitled, “Newark man charged in mother’s stabbing death.”