UNION TOWNSHIP - The mother of the man accused of killing a Cranford woman made her first appearance in court.

Eleanor Schofield, of Mountainside, is accused of interfering with the murder investigation involving her son, Matthew Ballister. Authorities say she attempted to assist in his effort to conceal evidence related to the crime.

Schofield's attorney, Harley Breite, entered into a not guilty plea on her behalf during the brief court hearing held Monday afternoon.

"We have sympathy for the victim, the victim's family," says Breite. "But right now, we have to tend to the erroneous charges waged against my client at this time."

Authorities say they believe Ballister killed 43-year-old April Wyckoff in his Union Township home last week. Parts of her body were found in Newark over the weekend.

During the court hearing, a lawyer for Ballister said he would plead not guilty to the charges.