HOUSTON -- There are new details emerging in the case of twin brothers charged with murder in the death of their 89-year-old mother.
Edward Larry Berndt and Edwin Christian Berndt, both 48, were arrested in mid-April at the southeast Houston home they shared with their mother, Sybile Berndt.
The twins told police they were watching the BCS Championship game on Jan. 10, when their mother slipped and fell. Police say they claimed they didn t have money to pay for medical help so they didn t call anyone. Detectives say she died three days later.
For the first time since the gruesome discovery, the twins attorney is sharing new information about their mental capacity and the conditions found inside their home.
Robert Scardino says the home didn t appear as if humans lived there.
I think rational minds cannot conceive of what they were thinking about and what was going on that would allow them to live under those circumstances, said Robert Scardino. The condition of the house is shocking. Frankly, I ve been practicing law for 40 years, I ve seen a lot of crime scenes, photographs, circumstances that were difficult to watch, but I ve never seen anything like that.
The Berndt twins are out of jail on bond. Scardino says they are in an assisted living center where doctors are reviewing their mental state to determine if they re competent to stand trial.
Scardino says doctors believe they may have some form of autism.
The boys were born mentally disabled. They were born oxygen-deprived and I think that was the source of their problem with being able to make decisions and live in society, live a life with other people, Scardino said.
According to their attorney, the adult twins relied on their mother to take care of them. While they have the mental capacity to write checks and feed themselves, they relied on her for help and their physical health suffered after she died.
It doesn t appear that there was any hygiene and baths or showers taken. There was water, but it was trickling water. There was no air conditioning, said Scardino. There were a lot of empty popcorn bags in the house. There were a lot of broken egg shells in the house and a lot of empty tin cans where they were eating food out of a tin can which indicated to me there wasn t any grocery shopping.
Scardino also said there was a Christmas tree found in the home with unopened presents underneath it. The twins said the family had planned a belated celebration with relatives in January.
The dining room table was still set the way their mother had left it.
It was in a state that I m not sure even the most warped director in Hollywood could have made up the scene in that house, said Scardino.
The Houston attorney says he s had conversations with the twins. They speak in one word sentences and show little emotion if any. He says they are aware they re charged with murder.
A spokesperson for the Harris County District Attorney s office told KHOU 11 News she could not comment regarding evidence investigators have collected in this case.
A court hearing is set for Wednesday morning in the Berndt case.