Upper East Sider’s Son Sued for Grisly Murder

     MANHATTAN (CN) – Though a jury found him too mentally ill to be held criminally liable, the Upper East Side man who killed his philanthropist mother four years ago now faces a civil lawsuit for wrongful death.
     Barbara Weiden Schwartz Fischler’s eldest son, Jonathan Schwartz, stabbed her to death with a 13.25-inch kitchen knife as she was lying down in the bedroom of her Upper East Side apartment on the night of July 2, 2011.
     Schwartz confessed in his first 911 call that night but called 911 again and claimed that his mother had killed herself, news reports from the time show.
     Fischler’s estate and the estate of her now-deceased youngest son claim in a July 14 complaint that Schwartz then tried to stage the scene as a suicide by changing out his bloody pants and placing the knife in his mother’s hand.
     After police arrived, however, Schwartz allegedly admitted what he had done in person and in writing.
     “I went into the kitchen and got a knife,” he said, according to the complaint in Manhattan Supreme Court. “I went into her room. I stabbed her three times. She woke up and started fighting I cannot describe it anymore, it’s too painful. I put the knife in her hand and called 911. Nothing happened today to cause me to kill my mother. This is a buildup of 10 years. I’m terribly sorry this happened. This is the worst thing I have ever done.”
     A Manhattan judge deemed the schizophrenic Schwartz mentally unfit to stand trial at least three times before the case finally made it to a jury this past November.
     The estate says Schwartz “conceded that he had murdered” his mother at trial, and “that he knew that he was stabbing her at the time he committed the act and intended to stab her.”
     On Dec. 18, the jury found Schwartz not criminally responsible by reason of mental disease or defect.
     He is currently an inmate at the Mid-Hudson Psychiatric Hospital, which found that he had a dangerous mental disorder on March 17 this year.
     Schwartz’s younger brother, Kenneth, committed suicide on Jan. 12, 2013.
     The executor of Kenneth’s estate is Steven Schwartz, whom DNAinfo.com indicates is Kenneth’s biological father and Fischler’s first husband.
     Steven Schwartz is also one of the temporary administrators of the mother’s estate.
     The other administrator is Russell Rosen, whose relation to the family is unclear from the lawsuit.
     The estates seek unspecified damages for wrongful death and a survival claim.
     Their attorney, Linda Genero Sklaren of the firm Warshaw Burstein, declined to comment.

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