YOU SAW IT HERE FIRST: A Ho-Ho-Kus man charged with stabbing and beating his 63-year-old mother to death in their home earlier this month was brought to court in Hackensack today for the first time.
Defense attorney John Weichsel entered a not-guilty plea on behalf of 24-year-old Nicholas Piotti to charges of murder and weapons offenses in the brutal Sept. 1 killing of Karen Spector Piotti at the family home.
He was then returned to the Bergen County Jail, where he remained held on $2 million after being transferred a week ago from Bergen Regional Medical Center.
Piotti’s father, aunt and cousin watched silently after briefing conferring with Weichsel ( photo, below ), who confirmed a CLIFFVIEW PILOT report from last night that he is pursuing an insanity defense.
Piotti was rushed to the hospital’s intensive care unit after having sources said was an apparent anxiety attack while being questioned by Bergen County prosecutor’s investigators at their office in Paramus hours after he was taken into custody.
Police found the body of the elder Piotti inside the family home around 3:30 that morning. The River Edge native was later pronounced dead at the scene.
Officers from Allendale, the Bergen County Police Department, Ridgewood, Saddle River and Upper Saddle River responded along with Ho-Ho-Kus police to what initially was suspected to be a home invasion.
That quickly changed when authorities seized Piotti, a former lacrosse player at Ridgewood High School, Marist College and St. John’s University and Dean’s List student at Marist.
Piotti was kept secured to his hospital bed under guard for two weeks at Bergen Regional for psychiatric reasons, authorities said.
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