A 21-year-old Santa Rosa man accused of stabbing his father to death with more than 50 blows was charged with murder at a Wednesday afternoon court hearing.
Houston Herczog attacked his father Mark Herczog, 63, shortly after 1 a.m. Monday when the younger man returned home from the gym, police said.
In court, the thin young man sat in oversized blue jail clothes, head lowered with his arms crossed until Judge Ken Gnoss asked him to stand.
Gnoss read the murder charges, which include enhancements for using knives, and asked if he had the funds to hire a private attorney.
"No," Herczog said.
His family and their supporters filled two courtroom rows during the proceedings.
Defense attorney Karen Silver delayed entering a plea until Nov. 30.
Outside the courtroom, Silver said Herczog was housed in the mental health ward of Sonoma County Jail and was being treated for depression.
"I do think he's competent," Silver said. However she may ask that he be evaluated by mental health professionals.
Herczog graduated from Santa Rosa High in 2009 and was taking classes at Santa Rosa Junior College.
On Wednesday, Herczog's family locked arms and leaned on one another as they left the courtroom and discussed the case with prosecutor Robert Waner in the hallway. They declined to comment.
For information on the reopening, go to www.srcity.org/emergency or call 707-543-4511.