Officials: Newark mother accused of stabbing 5-year-old son was having mental health problems

A Newark mother is being charged with the attempted murder of her 5-year-old son. The child remains at University Hospital in stable but critical condition, according to officials.
Authorities have identified 29-year-old Symona McGhee as the boy’s mother. She is being charged with attempted murder, endangering the welfare of a child and possession of a weapon after the incident at the family’s apartment along Murray Street in Newark on Monday.
The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office has confirmed that McGhee was in the midst of a mental health breakdown when the child was injured.
News 12 spoke with a neighbor who wanted to remain anonymous. She was there as the arrest was made.
“They brought her out in handcuffs. I never saw her look like that,” the neighbor said. “She looked like possessed, she was out of it, where she looked scary.”
The neighbor says she was aware McGhee was dealing with mental health issues but believed her to be a very caring mother.
“She always was smiling, always dressed nice. The baby was happy. She took real good care of him,” the neighbor said. “They were friendly, they have cookouts…They seem like a real no-problem family…I just hope the baby makes it.”
McGhee is also at University Hospital undergoing a psychiatric evaluation. She does not appear to have any prior criminal record.