A 72-year-old man has been stabbed to death by his son in New York state during a Zoom video chat with 20 other participants, police say.
Dwight Powers was attacked by his 32-year-old son, Thomas Scully-Powers, who then jumped out of a window and fled in Long Island’s Amityville village.
He was held within an hour after chat guests had called the police.
Mr Scully-Powers who was arraigned via video and ordered jailed without bail was charged with second-degree murder. He has pled not guilty to the murder charge.
District attorney Tim Sini said Scully-Powers told police he stabbed his father about 15 times and used several knives because the blades kept bending.
An autopsy showed that Powers had multiple stab wounds to his back, neck and torso, and police found multiple knives at the scene.
“By the defendant’s own admissions, he brutally stabbed his own father repeatedly until he was certain he was dead,” Sini said, calling it a “shocking and disturbing” case.
Scully-Powers’ lawyer, Jon Manley, said they were only able to speak for about five minutes before Friday’s video arraignment and that it would be premature for him to comment on the case. If convicted, Scully-Powers faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison.
Prosecutors say Scully-Powers attacked his father around noon on Thursday at their Amityville apartment as the older man sat down for a Zoom video meeting, beating him before returning to the room with a knife. That prompted one of about 20 other people in the meeting to call 911.
Such virtual meetings have become ubiquitous during the coronavirus pandemic, allowing people to see and talk to each other in groups without the risk of physical proximity. Because many meetings are recorded as they unfold, there’s a chance prosecutors will be able to obtain video of the attack taking place.
After an apparent attempt to clean up, Scully-Powers jumped out a second-floor window and fled on foot as police officers arrived, prosecutors said. A mop and bucket were found in the bathroom and a blood-saturated bed sheet was found in a garbage bag.
Scully-Powers then ran to a deli, swiped several bottles of Dr Pepper and tried using the soda to wash blood off his body, prosecutors said.
Amityville Village police apprehended Scully-Powers within an hour of the killing about a mile from the apartment. He was treated at a hospital for injuries from his jump.