NewsCrime Watch


Prosecutors: Billings man stabbed his mother to death

Posted at 10:26 AM, Jul 02, 2024

BILLINGS - Authorities say a man stabbed his mother to death as officers frantically tried to stop the attack inside a Billings Heights residence.

Robert Fermin Mascarena, 38, was charged Tuesday in Yellowstone County District Court with deliberate homicide. A plea of not guilty was entered on his behalf at arraignment and bond was set at $500,000.

Mascarena is accused of stabbing his 55-year-old mother, Patricia Mascarena, to death in a Billings Heights residence on Friday evening. Mascarena was shot by a Yellowstone County sheriff's deputy during the incident but was not seriously injured.

According to charging documents, the incident was first reported at about 9:34 p.m. when police responded to a report of a stabbing at 843 Bench Blvd. The caller, a 12-year-old girl, reported that her uncle was stabbing her grandmother. The girl fled the residence and called police after her uncle threatened "she was next," court records state.

Deputy Kevin Stahlberg was the first to arrive at the residence and reported that there was a female inside screaming for help. Stahlberg radioed for help requesting a ram to force entry to the residence, then reported that shots had been fired, court records state.

When city officers arrived Stahlberg told them that a male inside the residence told him he had a knife and a Glock handgun, court records state. Stahlberg said he tried to kick in the front door, then saw the man inside the residence make some motions. The deputy said that's when he fired shots through the door.

Sheriff Mike Linder said Tuesday that Stahlberg has been placed on temporary administrative leave pending an internal review of the incident.

As officers assembled outside the residence, one officer spoke with the 12-year-old girl who initially reported the stabbing. She said her uncle was armed with a knife and a Glock and that her grandmother had been stabbed. She said "she saw (Mascarena) stabbing her multiple times and there was blood everywhere," and that her uncle had told her that "when he was done with her grandma, she was next," court records state.

Another officer outside the residence said he heard a woman inside and an "active disturbance" and decided to "make immediate entry to defend the woman." The officer tried to kick the door open, but officers were not able to get inside until they used a ram to force the door open.

Once inside they found Patricia Mascarena on the living room floor "badly wounded," court records state. Officers determined Robert Mascarena had gone into a bedroom and barricaded himself inside. As some officers watched the bedroom other officers provided aid to the injured woman, who was later pronounced dead at the scene.

Robert Mascarena was arrested as he attempted to flee out a window, court records state.

As he was being arrested Mascarena allegedly said he was going to Hell, asked officers to shoot him, and said, "I did what I did." He also said that he'd been shot, and officers said they noticed what appeared to be a "grazing wound" from a bullet on his abdomen.

RELATED: Man arrested on suspicion of stabbing, killing woman in Billings Heights