A Sebastopol woman suspected of stabbing her mother to death made her first court appearance Wednesday, whispering "I love you" to someone in the audience before blurting out statements to the judge.
Judge Jamie Thistlethwaite warned Julia Katherine Franzen, 24, that she was charged with killing her mother, former Palm Drive Hospital nurse Nancy Franzen, 59, and that anything she said could be used against her in the murder case.
Still, Franzen, who authorities said has a history of mental illness, kept talking, offering up a fragmented statement that sounded vaguely like a confession to some spectators in the audience.
“I'm being abused. It doesn't make any sense for me to go through it the normal way," Franzen said during her arraignment.
It was unclear exactly what she meant.
Neither her lawyer, George Boisseau, nor any of the half-dozen people who came to see her would comment outside court.
Her next court date is Feb. 11.
Franzen was arrested Monday at her mother's Tocchini Street home. A neighbor reported Franzen had a knife in her bloody hands and had admitted killing someone, authorities said.
Deputies found her mother's body on a bedroom floor. A trail of blood in the home showed Nancy Franzen was attacked in one room and moved through others before she collapsed, Sheriff's Lt. Dennis O'Leary said.
An autopsy was conducted Wednesday.
The mother and daughter moved into the house about 15 years ago, neighbors said. Julia Franzen graduated from Analy High School in 2006 and had a daughter. They lived with Nancy Franzen for a period of time.
Nancy Franzen worked at Palm Drive as a medical-surgical nurse sometime before 2007 and was active in local Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, according to friends and former colleagues.
"She did her job very well and tried to have a smile doing it," said Lori Semmelmeyer, a Palm Drive emergency employee.