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Neighbors say son declared: ‘I just killed my mother’

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The 94-year-old Marine Park woman, who police say was savagely beaten with her own cane earlier this month, died on March 11.

Police report Dorothy Farrell was assaulted on March 3 by her own son, who then allegedly used a pillow to silence her screams.

Mark Farrell was arrested at the Burnett Street home where the attack took place, police said. He had shared the home with his mother for at least the last six months, according to neighbors.

Paramedics who arrived at the Farrells’ home on March 3 found the woman on the floor, battered and bloody, and rushed her to Kings County Hospital, where doctors said she suffered fractures to her face and skull, two broken ribs, and three broken fingers, according to court records.

Neighbors who had known the Farrells for decades were aghast.

“I was in shock,” said one neighbor who has known the son for 15 years and declined to give her name. “That’s not who he was.”

Another neighbor painted a similar picture of Farrell, who they said took his mother in several months ago, after his father died.

“He was a very nice man, but distant,” said Audrey Perry, who lives next-door to the Farrells.

Perry was home during the attack, and heard a commotion but didn’t catch the nature of the argument, she said.

After the ruckus subsided, Mark Farrell knocked at her door, she said. Her son answered, and Farrell allegedly made a chilling admission.

“He told my son, ‘I’ve just killed my mother. Call the police for me,’ ” Perry claimed.

Farrell was initially charged with attempted murder — as well as two counts of felony assault, attempted felony assault, and criminal possession of a weapon, according to police reports. Police would not confirm whether the charge has been upgraded to murder following the mother’s death.

Mark Farrell is being held on Rikers Island and could not be reached for comment. A spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office said it does not know who Farrell’s defense attorney is.

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at or by calling (718) 260-8303. Follow him on Twitter @MJaeger88.
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