Police: Deep River man admits killing his mother

Middletown — A 22-year-old Deep River man who police say admitted using a fire poker and pocket knife to kill his mother on Thursday was ordered held in lieu of a $1 million bond Friday at his arraignment in court.

Robert O. Rankin, of 131 Rattling Valley Road, is charged with murder for allegedly killing his mother "because she is pretty much responsible for everything that has gone wrong in my life," according to a probable cause report submitted to the court. Police identified the mother as 45-year-old Margaret Rohner.

Rankin, at the time of his arrest Thursday afternoon, not only admitted to the killing but described how he had woken up Thursday morning "and developed a plan to snap his mother's neck," acording to the report.

After trying to choke her, police said Rankin grabbed a fire poker and stabbed her in the neck. During a violent struggle, he stabbed her with a knife in the stomach. Rankin told police he left her lifeless body on the floor, cleaned up and took his dog for a walk.

"I just want you to know she put up a damn good fight," Rankin told police, according to the police report.

The state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has ruled the death a homicide caused by multiple stab wounds.

Police were called to the home Thursday after Rankin's father, Robert Rankin Jr., called police to tell them he thought his son was responsible for his ex-wife's death. Both men were waiting outside the Rattling Valley Road home when police arrived. Robert O. Rankin was handcuffed and taken into custody without a struggle.

Inside the home, state police detectives described a gruesome crime scene.

Rankin was ordered held under a suicide watch and is expected to return to Middletown Superior Court on Feb. 4.


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