A nephew of a former Army chief of staff has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder in the death of his mother, according to multiple news reports.

Denis Cullen is accused of drowning his mother, Elizabeth Cullen, in the family’s backyard pool after she argued with him because he wasn’t taking his medication, the Associated Press reported.

Elizabeth Cullen was the sister of retired Gen. George Casey, who was the Army’s top officer from April 2007 through April 2011.

Denis Cullen, 23, was arraigned Thursday in Suffolk County, New York, according to AP.

Newsday reported that Denis Cullen pleaded not guilty to killing his 63-year-old mother. Bail was set at $5 million cash of $8 million bond, according to AP.

Assistant District Attorney Robert Biancavilla said Cullen confessed to drowning his mother in the family’s swimming pool on Long Island on Wednesday, the AP reported. Biancavilla said the two had argued over Cullen not taking his medication.

Retired Gen. George Casey was the Army's top officer from April 2007 to April 2011.
Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Jon Soucy/National Guard
The prosecutor said Cullen put his mother in a headlock, walked her to the deep end of the pool and held her until she stopped struggling, according to AP.

Casey, who led the war effort in Iraq before becoming the Army chief of staff, and his family have suffered through tragedy before.

His father, Maj. Gen. George Casey Sr., was killed in a helicopter crash in Vietnam. He was the highest ranking officer to be killed during the war.

His grandson Jackson Casey, 11, died in 2011 shortly before Casey retired from the Army.

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