Posted at: 10/03/2012 12:14 PM
| Updated at: 10/03/2012 5:46 PM
By: Beth Wurtmann
ALBANY - Prosecutors said it was a case of domestic violence that led to a brutal murder in late July, when 52-year-old Tracey Zetzsche intentionally stabbed and bludgeoned her disabled son in their Westerlo home.
"I think people view a homicide a little differently they don't put it in the same basket as domestic violence but this is very much a domestic violence case that escalated to the point where someone's life was taken," said David Soares, Albany County District Attorney.
Soares said witnesses had overheard arguments over financial troubles between Zetzsche and 22-year-old Gabriel Philby inside the apartment on Route 143, and that in late July it spun out of control, with the single mother striking her son in the head and face with a hammer and knives, and stabbing him in the heart.
On Wednesday, Zetzsche pled not guilty at her arraignment on a charge of second degree murder.
"We really encourage people to seek out respite services respite help before it gets to that point," said Laurel Kelley, Executive Director of The Center for Independence in Albany, which helps connect caregivers and the disabled with mental health counseling, financial and housing services.
"I think you need to learn to ask for help. And a lot of people don't want to ask for help or they're asking the wrong people for help," Kelley said.
Soares said Philby's murder shows just how quickly domestic problems can turn to violence.
"Anytime you have domestic violence issues that escalates they don't end well and it's usually it's going to involve rage and a lot of violence and this is reason we try to end it and bring a lot of awareness to it," said Soares.
Zetzsche remains at the Albany County Jail without bail.
Her attorney, a public defender, said he could not comment on her case.