$350K bond for ISU student who tried to stab mother to death

JOLIET (STMW) - An Illinois State University student who tried to stab his mother to death Monday morning for insurance money to pay for his college tuition has been ordered held on a $350,000 bond, authorities said.

Michael J. Bernhard, 22, was charged with attempted murder, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and aggravated domestic battery, according to a statement from the Will County sheriff’s office. He was ordered held on a $350,000 bond in court Tuesday.

Deputies responded to a stabbing in the 23000 block of South Cherry Hill Road in Manhattan Township about 10:30 a.m.

Bernhard’s mother told investigators she was getting ready to drive him to the train station for him to return to college and when she was backing out of the driveway he asked her to stop because he forgot something inside, according to the statement.

When he got back to the vehicle, he pulled out a 6-inch butcher knife and began to attack her, according to the statement. She tried to defend herself and then slammed the car into reverse and drove down the driveway to get help.

A relative who lives nearby saw the vehicle and the struggle and called 911.

Bernhard’s mother was taken to Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox and was treated for cuts and abrasions to her hands, arms and throat, according to the statement. She was later released.

Bernhard was arrested at the scene. He was attempting to kill his mother for insurance money to pay for his college tuition, according to the statement. He is a political science and history major at Illinois State University.

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