21-year-old who strangled mother with auxiliary cord in West Mifflin claimed self defense

WEST MIFFLIN — The West Mifflin man charged with strangling his mother with an auxiliary cord, putting her in a garbage bag and attempting to bury her in her own backyard entered a plea of not guilty.

His attorney says there is much more to this story and self-defense could play a critical role as they prepare for trial.

21-year-old Jonathan Nulty had nothing to say as he left his preliminary hearing in shackles and a red jail jumpsuit at City Court.

Police say Nulty killed his mother Helene and stuffed her in a garbage bag in the backyard.

It happened in December at her West Mifflin home along Eastman Street.

Today — two Allegheny County detectives testified they saw trash bags with remains inside, rolls of duct tape — and a three-foot by three-foot hole dug in the backyard with a shovel nearby.

One detective said Nulty told him he was having problems with his mother and her constant nitpicking and concerns over his cannabis consumption.

He admitted to police they argued in the kitchen and blurted out this was self-defense when police spoke with him.

He claimed his mother tried to grab him by the throat.

He said he took an auxiliary cord and strangled her from behind.

He then wrapped her in a garbage bag and dragged her outside.

“The bulk of the evidence is gonna come out in the trial and that’s where the fight is gonna be. We’re ready for it when it comes,” said Corey Day, Defense Attorney for Nulty.

Nulty told detectives he had planned to dump his mother in the river but couldn’t lift her so he said he would “let Mother Nature take care of her” and it wouldn’t smell as bad.

When Channel 11 asked Nulty about his actions and why he allegedly committed the crime he said “No comment.”

Nulty’s grandfather had previously said they took PFAs out against him.

He now goes back before a judge for his formal arraignment on March 18th.