The mother of a Santa Rosa man charged with stabbing his father to death was arrested Friday after a courtroom outburst triggered by her ringing cell phone.
Marilyn Herczog, 57, of Forestville was booked on a misdemeanor charge of battery on an officer after being ejected during a pretrial hearing for Houston Herczog, 21.
The prosecutor and Herczog's defense attorney were arguing about the results of a psychological evaluation when the mother's cell phone went off in her purse.
It rang several times before the woman, who tried to silence the phone, stood in the court gallery and held up a photo of her son and his father, the late Mark Herczog, 63.
Deputies grabbed her and led her out. In the hallway, she screamed to Judge Dana Simonds, "Help! They are hurting me. Judge, they are hurting me."
She was handcuffed and taken to the Sonoma County jail, where she was booked on the battery charge, Sgt. Mitch Mana said.
He didn't know exactly what she did to the deputy, he said.
A small dog that Herczog had been allowed to bring to court hearings was taken by a family friend.
She was still in custody as of late Friday afternoon, with bail set at $5,000, according to jail officials.
The outburst came as both sides prepared for trial, which is set for Friday.
Houston Herczog is charged with murder for allegedly stabbing his father more than 50 times in their Rincon Valley home in 2011.
He has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
Two court-appointed doctors and an independent defense psychologist concluded he suffered from schizophrenia. His lawyer has said he thought his father was possessed by an evil spirit.
Last week, the judge agreed to allow prosecutors to have Herczog examined by their own expert. He was examined Wednesday, but the results had not been released to Herczog's lawyer, Karen Silver.
Silver argued she needed the information to prepare for trial.
The judge gave prosecutors until Tuesday to hand over the findings.
You can reach Staff Writer Paul Payne at 568-5312 or firstname.lastname@example.org.