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Testimony: Mother's killing blamed on masked intruder

LAWRENCEVILLE -- In interviews with police, Mark Wilson blamed his mother's brutal killing on a masked intruder, but a detective testified Wednesday that numerous aspects of his account were implausible at best.

Wilson, 42, is charged with fatally stabbing his wheelchair-bound, 72-year-old mother, Phyllis Wilson, in the master bathroom of their Lawrenceville home on Sept. 11. Police believe Mark suffers from schizophrenia but family members said he was properly taking his medication. No specific motive has emerged.

Mark fled the crime scene in his mother's Toyota Camry and was arrested the next evening when an officer spotted him at a nearby gas station. He denied involvement in the killing, telling interrogators he'd come to check on his mother and found a 6-foot-tall white man in a ski mask standing over her in the bathroom, testified Gwinnett police Detective A.P. Whaley at a probable cause hearing.

In interviews, Whaley pointed out a laceration on Wilson's pinkie finger and a drop of blood on his pants. He told police he'd cut himself on the garage door when he was frantically fleeing the masked man. Mark's description of what the man was wearing varied as he was pressed by police, Whaley testified.

"He didn't give a real good answer as to why he didn't call police, or at least his father" who also lives at the home but was at work, Whaley testified.

An autopsy showed Phyllis Wilson was stabbed 14 times to her upper body, including 10 wounds to her neck. The only item missing from the home was the family's most commonly used kitchen knife, which was of a size to match the stab wounds, Whaley testified.

In court, Wilson wore a scruffy, graying beard and a green jumpsuit, his eyes alternately scanning the courtroom and staring blankly ahead.

Phyllis Wilson, who was partially paralyzed from a stroke several years ago, was found about 10:30 a.m. when her husband came home from work to let a caretaker in. That was typically Mark's duty. He would curl up in his mother's bed after his father had left for work each morning and then assist her as she awoke, until the caretaker arrived, Whaley said.

Police found no signs of forced entry. Whaley testified that Mark Wilson told investigators he believed the intruder picked the home's dead-bolt locks.

Wilson is charged with aggravated assault and felony murder. A Gwinnett magistrate bound both charges to Superior Court with no argument from attorneys. A grand jury will next consider an indictment.