Witness details actions of DeLong, his mother

August 31, 1994|By Darren M. Allen and Donna E. Boller | Darren M. Allen and Donna E. Boller,Sun Staff Writers

Jason Aaron DeLong and his mother spent nearly every moment of their 33 days in the Carroll County women's shelter behind closed doors, a shelter employee told a Carroll jury yesterday.

Cathryn Brace Farrar and her son, then 16, both behaved unusually during their stay at the shelter from late January to March 1, 1991, case manager Linda Tully testified. Mr. DeLong is on trial for first-degree murder in the stabbing deaths of Ms. Farrar and her boyfriend, George W. "Billy" Wahl, on July 29, 1993.

Mrs. Tully was one of more than a half-dozen witnesses called by the defense yesterday. Most of the other witnesses were teachers and counselors who knew Mr. DeLong when he lived in North Carolina and Florida.

At the shelter, mother and son stayed in the bedroom -- a small room with two bunk beds -- or sat for hours in Ms. Farrar's old Volkswagen Beetle, which didn't run, Mrs. Tully said. "The staff worried because it was so strange," she said.

Mrs. Tully described Jason as quiet, withdrawn and fearful, his mother as uncooperative and frequently blank, as if she didn't hear or see the workers. The shelter staff referred mother and son to the Department of Social Services "because this family had so many missing pieces," Mrs. Tully said.

The referral form noted that Jason had alluded to being sexually abused by his mother's former boyfriends and said he "needs assistance in acting like a normal 16-year-old," Mrs. Tully said.

Mr. DeLong, 19, is charged with fatally stabbing his mother and her boyfriend in her Westminster apartment last summer. A co-defendant, Sara Elizabeth Citroni, 18, pleaded guilty last month to the killings.

Mr. DeLong has pleaded innocent and not criminally responsible. His defense hinges on a contention that a lifetime of relentless physical, sexual and emotional abuse drove him insane and caused him to kill his mother.

The trial, which began Aug. 23, is in its second week. Prosecutors presented their case last week, portraying Mr. DeLong as a "cunning" criminal who, along with Citroni, plotted to kill Ms. Farrar and Mr. Wahl for money and a car. The jury last week heard taped confessions from both Mr. DeLong and Ms. Citroni.

On Monday, Donald DeLong, Jason's father, testified. As the first witness for the defense, the elder Mr. DeLong told the jury his son was neglected by Ms. Farrar. He said child advocacy systems set up in North Carolina, Florida and Maryland failed to protect his son and, ultimately, Ms. Farrar.

The trial is to continue today.

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