Defense Lawyer: Teen Murder Suspect Suffers From 'Acute' Mental Problem

Mother of alleged killer of lawyer holds press conference, extends condolences to victim's family.

The mother of the teenager suspected in the 2006 >murder of a Ramat Hasharon lawyer said on Monday that her son confessed to the killing in her presence.

The 17-year-old high school student from the wealthy suburb of Tel Aviv has been apprehended by police and reenacted the murder. Also, a DNA sample that was found on the murder scene matches his own. On Friday, the Tel Aviv Youth Court extended his remand.

During a press conference she held in her home, the suspect's mother described their meeting in police custody: "They let me into his room, and told me they want me to see him and encourage him, that he has something to tell me. He sat down and told me: Mommy, did I do it two years ago? For two years I've been trying to say something. My behavior, that everybody thinks I don't know what I'm doing, is something that?It wasn't me. I heard a voice telling me: Go get money.'"

The mother told reporters how he recounted the night of the murder.

Late on April 10, 2006, he knocked on the door of the Ramat Hasharon home of attorney Anat Pliner, 42. When she opened the door, he asked her for money. When Pliner refused and started shouting, he stabbed her and fled the scene. She collapsed and later died en route to hospital.

"I would like to extend my condolences to the family and express my sympathy," the suspect's mother said. "The victim's children did not deserve to lose their mother. I'm really sorry for them."

She said she had had no recollection of the night of the murder, until her son reminded her of his unusual behavior that night: "He returned home in panic. We didn't know what was wrong. We asked him, and he told us he was being chased. We calmed him down and gave him something to drink. He didn't have blood on his clothes or anything that might have made me suspicious."

The suspect's defense lawyer, Moshe Meroz, said after meeting him on Monday that the teen suffers from an acute mental problem.

"I spoke to him, and he describes a very unusual situation without being aware to its serious implications. I think this will be our line of defense," Meroz said.

He also said he had asked the court to order a psychiatric evaluation of the defendant.