Man accused in stabbing ordered to undergo medical evaluation - WFSB 3 Connecticut

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Man accused in fatal stabbing ordered to undergo medical evaluation


A Deep River man, who was charged in connection with fatally stabbing his mother, was placed on suicide watch and ordered to undergo medical evaluation.

Officers were called to a residence in the 100 block of Rattling Valley Road, which is right off Route 154, around 1 p.m. where a 45-year-old woman was found dead.

Police said Margaret Rohner was stabbed in the stomach with a knife and fire poker inside the home by her son, who was identified as 22-year-old Robert Rankin, during a domestic assault. 

"I killed my mother because she is pretty much responsible for everything that has gone wrong in my life," Rankin told police, according to court documents.

Rankin also told investigators that he tried to choke his mother, Rohner, before fatally stabbing her.

One family member, who did not want to be identified, told Eyewitness News they became concerned when the woman failed to answer the phone. Court documents indicate that the father called police and stated he thought his son killed his wife.

Shortly after police arrived, a family member told Eyewitness News police started questioning Rankin. He was arrested and charged with murder.

Rankin then told investigators that after the alleged murder he "drank some water, took a shower, opened some windows, closed the windows, took my dog for a walk."

After the fatal attack, Rankin told authorities his mother "put up a damn good fight. She is a strong woman. I give her credit for that."

Rankin was arraigned at Middlesex Superior Court on Friday. During the appearance, Rankin showed no emotion.

"There seems to be a very long history of severe psychiatric issues," said Rankin's attorney, Dennis McMahon. "I don't think were properly being addressed."

McMahon said Rankin was prescribed pills for his psychiatric issues, but it appears he may not have been taking the medicine at the time of alleged murder.

"I think he needs special attention. I know he's very emotional, fragile," McMahon said. "I think anybody would be, and I think I want the state to be looking at him to make sure he doesn't hurt himself."

Following Rankin's court appearance, his bail remained at $1 million. Rankin is due back in court on Feb. 4.

Autopsy is scheduled for Friday afternoon to determine the cause and manner of death.

Connecticut State Police Major Crimes Unit were assisting with the investigation. 

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