19-year-old man strangles his mother to death after she served him eviction notice for refusing to get a job or clean his room

Wednesday, July 03, 2024 - A 19-year-old Indiana man is facing decades in prison after he was arrested for allegedly strangling his mother to death.

Conner Kobold, 19, has been charged with two counts of murder and one of aggravated battery in connection with the death of his mother, 43-year-old Shanelle Burns.

On February 5, police were sent to the home where Kobold and Burns lived in Valparaiso. Burns was found unresponsive and not breathing in the living room as Kobold shockingly confessed to strangling her. She was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Kobold now faces mental health investigations over both his decision to represent himself at trial and the reason he allegedly killed his mother.

According to Mail Online, the mother and son's relationship became strained, so she issued him with an eviction letter.  She also gave him 30 days to find a full-time job, clean his room, and help out around the house.

As Kobold attempts to be his own lawyer, Superior Court Judge Michael Fish called on a mental health professional to investigate his competency.

'I want Dr. (Anand) Popli to chime in on whether you're capable of representing yourself,' Fish said Friday.

Fish asked: 'I guess the most important thing out of the gate here is for me to make sure that you understand the penalty for murder is 45 to 65 years. Do you understand that?'

'Yes, your honour,' said Kobold.

Fish also tried to explain to him the advantages and disadvantages of being your own attorney and the qualifications they usually have.

He was then asked: 'Do you believe you have any skills or abilities that would help you represent yourself?'

Kobold responded: 'I believe my case is so unique that the only person who can explain what happened and why it happened is myself'

Fish asked Kobold about his educational background and his experiences in a courtroom and with public speaking.

Kobold said he has a high school education and had done public speaking while in school but had never been in court before.

He then admitted that he had been in mental health facilities twice and had gone through five different psychologists.

Kobold said that despite his challenges, he would not be affected in acting on his own behalf in court.

He was then asked if he planned to enter a plea or go to trial in his first act as his attorney.

'Whatever I can do to help the court and the jury make the best decision about my situation,' Kobold said.

After being informed he had to make that decision himself, he said he would negotiate with the state first.

Fish gave Kobold a waiver to represent himself pending what the doctor says about the defendant's mental health.

If convicted on all three counts, Kobold faces anywhere between 45 and 84 years in prison and $20,000 in fines.

A trial date is set for August 6.  

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