BILLINGS - A Billings man accused of stabbing his mother to death inside a Heights residence pleaded not guilty Tuesday to deliberate homicide.
Jonah Dean Bergman, 29, appeared before Judge Jessica Fehr for arraignment in Yellowstone County District Court. During the arraignment hearing, Fehr denied a request from Bergman to plead guilty to the charge and set his bond at $500,000.
"I can't just plead guilty?" Bergman asked.
"You can not," the judge replied.
Bergman was arrested early Saturday morning after police received complaints of a man acting suspiciously at a hotel and convenience store along Main Street. When an officer approached Bergman he noticed the man appeared to have blood on his hands and shirt. The officer asked Bergman where the blood came from.
"I just stabbed and killed my mother," Bergman allegedly replied, according to charging documents filed by prosecutors.
Bergman was handcuffed and officers found a wallet in his pocket with an identification that showed his address to be 1222 Claim Jumper Lane. The officer noted that Bergman "showed no emotions and had a glazed over look about his face" during his interaction with officers, court records state.
Officer then went to the residence on Claim Jumper Lane and while looking through the windows one officer noticed a large bloody knife and a body on the floor of a room.
Officers entered the house and determined the woman inside appeared to be deceased. She was later identified as Bergman's mother, 67-year-old Cynthia Cook.
Officers said that during the investigation a neighbor stated Bergman was possibly bipolar or schizophrenic, court documents state. Neighbors also reported that Bergman and his mother were the only occupants of the house.
RELATED: Billings murder victim identified