Florida man killed mom with ax, tried to drown sister, deputies say


ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. (WESH)—Orange County sheriff’s deputies say a man killed his mother with an ax and then tried to drown his sister.

WESH 2 News looked into how the man’s mental state played a role in the crime.

Late Monday night, Orange County sheriff’s deputies were called to Rensselaer Road, where they found Lori Farney, 53, dead on the back porch.

Farney’s 23-year-old daughter Autumn was stabbed. She told deputies that her brother, Adam Farney, 27, did it.

“Something went wrong. It’s sad. It’s really horrible,” neighbor Denton Smith said.

According to the arrest report, Autumn heard her mother scream something like, “Adam, no,” so Autumn ran outside and, “saw Adam standing over her mother with what appeared to be an ax.”

When she asked him what happened, “He grabbed a knife and attempted to attack her. She was stabbed once in the collarbone and the two began to struggle over the knife,” the report said.

Investigators said Adam Farney dragged her into the pool and held her underwater in an attempt to drown her.

“He began to stab her and she managed to injure him and run to a neighbor’s house,” said Jane Watrel with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

Smith and Autumn ran back to get Autumn’s 2-year-old son, who was still in the house.

Smith said he found Adam Farney next to his mother, smoking a cigarette.

“He said that she assaulted me. I asked, ‘What did you do?’ He said that she assaulted him,” Smith said.

WESH 2 News learned the Sheriff’s Office has responded to the house multiple times, twice in June and twice in October, for Adam Farney.

One report said Adam Farney has a history of mental illness.

Adam Farney was charged with first-degree murder in the death of his mother for allegedly hitting Lori Farney with an ax in the head. He also faces attempted first-degree murder in the alleged attack against his sister.


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