Man found incompetent to stand trial in strangulation killing of mother that nearly went unnoticed

A 32-year-old Northeast Baltimore man has been ruled incompetent to stand trial in the killing of his mother, a crime police said nearly went uninvestigated until her injuries were discovered by the funeral home.

Court records show Erich Kuhn, who was scheduled to be arraignmed on first-degree murder charges Tuesday, was instead found incompetent to stand trial at a hearing last month in front of Judge Gail Rasin in the city's mental health court.

Kuhn's 63-year-old mother, Cathy, was found dead March 8 in her home in the Glenham-Belhar neighborhood.

Police said officers and medics saw no signs of trauma, and the state medical examiner's office declined to investigate.

But police said that after a funeral home noticed possible ligature marks around her throat, detectives launched an investigation and Kuhn gave a "complete confession" to the killing. Kuhn told detectives he strangled his mother for about seven minutes, using a telephone cord.

Bradley Kuhn, Erich Kuhn's brother, told The Baltimore Sun that his mother was healthy at the time of her death, and family members had been confounded by authorities' initial determination that her death was from natural causes.

At an April 19 hearing, prosecutors and Erich Kuhn's defense attorney did not discuss his status in detail. Rasin said that "due to a mental disorder," Kuhn had been committed to the custody of the Department of Mental Health and Hygiene and is being held at Clifton T. Perkins Hospital.

He is due in court again for an evaluation in October, court records show.

jfenton@baltsun.com

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