Murder suspect says he 'just snapped'

August 26, 1994|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Sun Staff Writer

In a taped confession to police, Jason Aaron DeLong recalled a lifetime of anger and frustration surging to his hands as he stabbed his mother while she took a sip of coffee.

"It was like, like something inside of me just snapped," he told Westminster detectives in Florida last year. "It's like everything that she had ever done to me, everything from sticking fingernail files underneath my fingernails to setting my skin on fire."

The tape of the interview at the Palm Beach County Detention Center with Westminster Lt. Dean A. Brewer was played yesterday to the Carroll Circuit Court jury at Mr. DeLong's first-degree murder trial.

Some of the nine men and three women on the panel winced occasionally while listening to the half-hour tape, in which Mr. DeLong admitted that he and Sara Elizabeth Citroni -- his girlfriend of one week -- had killed Cathryn Brace Farrar, 39, and her boyfriend, George William Wahl, 35.

Mr. DeLong's confession was a key part of the case the prosecution is expected to finish today with testimony from a fellow teen-age runaway who drove Citroni and Mr. DeLong to Florida in Ms. Farrar's car after the killings.

John C. Cheezum of Baltimore County is expected to recount what Citroni and Mr. DeLong told him about the killings.

According to a statement young Cheezum gave to police last August, Mr. DeLong described entering his mother's kitchen: "With a malicious smile on his face, he stabbed her. She took a while to get this into her head that she was being stabbed, so he did it again."

Throughout the confession played yesterday, Mr. DeLong, 19, said he had been mistreated by his mother. He said he couldn't take any more, and when he and Citroni, 18 -- who pleaded guilty to the Westminster killings last month -- entered Ms. Farrar's apartment before the killings, he "got this bad feeling."

"The strange thing about it is I'm not, deep down inside, I'm not even a person that would do this stuff," Mr. DeLong told the lieutenant. "If I'd been OK, if people would have left me alone, if my dad had never sent me back home to that God-forsaken place, it wouldn't have happened."

As he uttered those words to Lieutenant Brewer, his father, Donald DeLong, was at his home not far away in Jupiter, Fla. His father and Ms. Farrar -- married in the 1970s in Fayetteville, N.C. -- shuttled their son back and forth during years of custody battles. Jason DeLong's latest attempt at living with his father ended about a year before the killings, when Donald DeLong sent his son back to Ms. Farrar.

The jury also heard Citroni's confession to Lieutenant Brewer, which she gave hours after Mr. DeLong confessed. A tape-recording of Citroni's statement hushed the courtroom and visibly angered Ms. Farrar's mother and sisters, who were sitting in the courtroom gallery.

Lieutenant Brewer asked Citroni if she had stabbed Ms. Farrar.

"Yeah, I'm sure I did. I had a lot against her. I know I did, I'm sure I did."

"Where did you stab her at?" Lieutenant Brewer asked.

"Anywhere I could, but I didn't go crazy on her. I just, I was really upset and after all the stuff that I heard she had done to him, I couldn't believe it. . . . It kind of gave -- I'm not being like a psycho or anything -- it kind of gave me pleasure to put her in pain like she did to him."

The pain Ms. Farrar inflicted on her son is what Mr. DeLong is using in his defense. His attorneys have said the killings were the result of insanity brought on by years of relentless physical, sexual and emotional abuse.

Ms. Farrar's family -- breaking months of silence -- read a statement on the courthouse steps.

"Whatever Jason and the defense say is not true and the family knows, Cathy knows, Bill, Cathy's fiance, knows, but must important, the Lord knows the truth," said Stayce Cashion, Ms. Farrar's sister. Before that statement, she read one from her mother, Lois Brace.

"Anyone who loses a loved one to a violent death experiences a pain that cannot be described. But when that death has been caused by another loved one, the pain remains ever present. In some cases, such as is the case with our loss, the loved one is blamed for her own death."

Prosecutors said Wednesday that Mr. DeLong's contentions of insanity and abuse are not the issue in this trial -- the killings are the result of a cold-blooded conspiracy to grab money and a clunker of a car.

But Mr. DeLong's attorneys claim that he was subjected to "torture" and that his mother and grandmother introduced him to Satan worship.

The jury also heard testimony from a man who had an intermittent friendship with Mr. DeLong for about eight months.

Ron Baker of Westminster told the jury that he noticed his friend and Citroni acting "weird" on the evening of July 29, 1993 -- the day Ms. Farrar and Mr. Wahl were killed.

Under cross-examination by defense attorney Luther C. West, Mr. Baker was asked whether Mr. DeLong recounted any episodes of sexual abuse by Ms. Farrar. He was barred from answering the question after a prosecution objection.

But in an interview this summer with The Sun, Mr. Baker said he witnessed indications of sexual abuse.

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