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Santa Rosa murder suspect says father mocked him before slaying

A 22-year-old Santa Rosa man believed his father was chiding him about his drug use and accusing him of having an unhealthy relationship with his divorced mother in the moments before he's charged with stabbing him to death.

In a police interrogation video played for jurors Thursday, a frazzled-looking Houston Herczog told detectives he was angered by the accusations from Mark Herczog, 63, who he said confronted him in the kitchen of their Rincon Valley home.

He said he thought his father mocked him about being "replaced" by his mother's boyfriend before they fell into a violent altercation that he declined to describe.

Pressed for details of the clash by Santa Rosa police Detective Stephen Rakoski, Herczog asked for an attorney.

"I mean, I don't know if you want the specifics of it," he said in the interview, conducted four hours after the slaying. "I mean, it's horrible."

Herczog, who has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, is accused of stabbing his father more than 60 times in the November 2011 attack. Police said he also bludgeoned his fallen father with a guitar amplifier.

He was arrested after his sister called 911 and he confessed to officers, according to testimony.

Three doctors who examined him said he was suffering a psychotic break at the time and diagnosed him with paranoid schizophrenia.

A doctor hired by the District Attorney's Office disagreed, finding he was in a drug-induced psychosis brought on by taking Adderall, a stimulant he had been stealing from his mother, Marilyn Herczog of Forestville.

Family members countered Herczog had been deteriorating in the year before the slaying and was unable to receive adequate treatment.


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