Elderly mother told

police son was upset about going back to jail'

By ANDREA VanVALKENBURG

PLATTSBURGH -- An elderly woman told police her son had been drinking before he allegedly stole her money at knifepoint and threatened to kill her.

According to Plattsburgh City Court documents, Vernon C. Chellis went to his mother's Flynn Avenue apartment Tuesday evening and spent the night with her.

The next morning, the 51-year-old allegedly pointed a knife at her, demanded cash and threatened to kill her.

After the robbery, his mother told police that Chellis was drunk and very emotional the night before and had taken the knife from her kitchen.

"He told me that he was going to kill himself with the knife because he didn't have any razor blades," the 75-year-old told police after her daughter convinced her to report the robbery.

She said he was upset because he missed a court appearance and "knew he was going back to jail."

According to her statement, Chellis spent the evening trying to "aggravate" her and later passed out drunk.

When he woke up the next morning, his mom said, "the first thing that Vernon did is get back into drinking the beer."

After watching TV with his mom, he allegedly pulled the steak knife from his front pocket, pointed it at her and said, "Give me your money."

"I told Vernon that the only money that I had was bill money, and that was it. Vernon told me that he could kill me and that nobody would know.

"I was scared when he said that because Vernon has been using drugs, and he is not the same person when he is using drugs."

She said she grabbed $50 from her wallet and gave it to her son, who then threw the knife on a table and left the apartment.

City Police located Chellis a few hours later and took him into custody after a brief foot chase.

Chellis, who has a past criminal record and spent time in prison for assault and attempted assault, continues to be held at the Clinton County Jail without bail and will return to court Friday to face the charges.

He has pleaded not guilty to robbery and menacing charges.

avanvalkenburg@pressrepublican.com

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