UTICA, N.Y. -- According to prosecutors, Paul Bumbolo's attack on his three family members wasn't spur-of-the-moment, vengeful or drug induced. Rather, he experienced a psychotic break that had been steadily building up.
"I've been to a lot of crime scenes, but this is by far the most bizarre crime scene I have ever been to," said Scott McNamara, Oneida County's district attorney. "So when you looked at the crime scene alone, you were saying somebody had to be very mentally ill to do these things."
According to family members and friends of Bumbolo, he began exhibiting signs of a mental break the day of the homicide. He believed the government was watching him through electronic devices, he was talking to himself, and he killed the family dog. Bumbolo was admitted to Faxton St. Luke's Hospital that day, but was released.
"Had he been kept, we wouldn't probably be here," McNamara said. "I don't know why they released him. I don't know what happened. I know, from what I've been able to determine, that he was not evaluated at that point."
Bumbolo murdered his uncle, mother and sister, stabbing the two women more than 300 times collectively and beheading his sister. Prosecutors say Bumbolo placed a glass nativity set on his uncle's stomach because he said he thought it would get rid of the devil. He also placed mirrors around the bodies.
"The defendant also stated that he set up mirrors around the house 'because I thought the devil couldn't see in the mirror,' " said Assistant District Attorney Stacey Paolozzi.
The psychiatrist used by the prosecution diagnosed Bumbolo with schizophrenia. The prosecution and the court agreed to the defense's plea of not criminally responsible by reason of mental disease or defect. Bumbolo is expected to be placed in a psychiatric facility.
"He suffers from a severe mental illness, schizophrenia. It's probably one of the worst mental illnesses I've ever seen or been a part of," said Defense Attorney Luke Nebush.
"This is somebody that probably will not be released in his lifetime, just because of how dangerous of an individual he is to the community," McNamara said.
Another mental health evaluation will be taking place to determine which psychiatric facility Bumbolo will be placed in. He will be re-evaluated every two years.