ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. – A 15-year-old confronted by his mother over Internet pornography and weaponry apparently preceded an attack in which he stabbed her more than 100 times, police and prosecutors said.
Christopher Dankovich (search) was charged as an adult with open murder in Oakland County District Court. Judge Nancy Carniak scheduled a preliminary hearing for May 17 and ordered the teen held without bond.
Carniak asked Dankovich if he understood he could spend life in prison if convicted. According to The Detroit News, the slight-framed teen, head freshly shaven, politely answered "Yes, your honor."
"He's very baffled and distraught," said Mitchell Ribitwer, Dankovich's lawyer.
Ribitwer said he would likely request a psychiatric examination for his client, who he said had never before been in trouble before.
"I believe there are some mental health issues in this case," the attorney said. "It's out of the blue. There's no explanation for it."
Police began searching for Dankovich shortly after his grandmother found the body of Diane Michele in the foyer of her Rochester Hills home about 8 a.m. EDT Monday. Dankovich was not in the house or at Adams High School, and his mother's van was missing.
Dankovich was located about 2 p.m. at his family's cabin in St. Helen, more than 100 miles to the north. Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said his office contacted Roscommon County officials on the hunch that Dankovich might have gone to the cabin.
Richfield Township Police Chief Bradley Bannon said his officers went to the cabin, spotted Michele's van and set up watch. Three hours later, Dankovich came out of the cabin and surrendered, Bannon told The Daily Oakland Press of Pontiac.
Michele was stabbed 111 times, Chief Deputy Prosecutor Deborah Carley said.
"It was just about everywhere. She was stabbed in the back, chest, head, heart, face and eyes," Carley said. "She also had blunt force trauma to her head."
Michele, 50, was a psychologist who ran the HeartLight Metaphysical Center (search) in Birmingham. She was a certified hypnotherapist and had a master's degree in counseling.
Authorities said Michele had recently discovered that her son was using the Internet to look at pornography and learn how to make weapons. Michele had found a gun that her son made out of PVC pipe filled with gunpowder and marbles, took it away and gave it to the boy's father, her ex-husband, James Dankovich of Troy.
James Dankovich declined to comment Tuesday, the Detroit Free Press reported.
Michele and her son also had been arguing about his girlfriend and use of the computer, but authorities still lacked a clear motive for the slaying Tuesday.
"That's the million-dollar question," Oakland County Prosecutor David Gorcyca said. "What motivated a 15-year-old who was otherwise a well-behaved child to butcher his mom? This investigation is far from complete. There has to be something in this boy's background for him to commit such an angry crime."