- Associated Press - Friday, July 25, 2014

ORANGE, Conn. (AP) - A 22-year-old man was arraigned Friday on a murder charge in the killing of his mother in Orange, and the judge agreed to a defense request to send him to a prison psychiatric unit.

Timothy Granata appeared in Derby Superior Court and bail was kept at $2 million.

A student at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, where he was on the varsity wrestling team, Granata wept in court, his attorney, Charles Tiernan III, said. Granata plans to plead not guilty, Tiernan said.

Police Chief Robert Gagne said Granata was arrested Thursday after the body of 58-year-old Claudia Granata was found at her home. The chief said police were called to the home around 2:15 p.m. and found the young man nearby.

Tiernan said his understanding is Timothy Granata has a psychiatric history. He said the judge agreed to recommend Granata be sent to Garner Correctional Institution, which has a psychiatric unit.

“That may provide information that’s certainly relevant to the circumstances surrounding what happened,” Tiernan said.

The medical examiner’s office said Friday the cause of Claudia Granata’s death was blunt impact and sharp force injury to the head, neck, torso and extremities, and ruled the death a homicide.

A police report indicates Granata was found outside the house with a phone in one hand and a Bible in the other, Tiernan said.

“It’s a horrible, horrible tragedy,” Tiernan said. “My heart goes out to the family. We have to do our best to represent Timothy, and that’s what we’re going to do.”

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