One Howard County youth is undergoing psychiatric evaluation and another is being held without bond at the county detention center in the wake of charges that they tried to kill one youth's mother by giving her drinks that may have been poisoned and by plotting to beat her with a baseball bat, police said Friday.
Howard County police said James K. Dampman and Patrick Skerry, both 17 and juniors at Mount Hebron High School, were arrested Wednesday night in connection with attempts on the life of Nina Dampman.
Dampman was charged as an adult with attempted murder and conspiracy to murder his mother. Skerry was charged with assault with intent to murder and with conspiracy, also as an adult, according to police.
"It's safe to say that there were differences between the mother and the son," said one police official who declined to elaborate.
Dampman was picked up by police after his mother reported him as a runaway on April 15. Nina Dampman told police that about 3 a.m., the last time she saw her son, he was hovering near her bed wearing a glove on one hand and carrying a hunting knife in his back pocket, according to police spokesman Sheldon Greenberg. He then ran away.
Dampman's mother told police that her son had offered her a bitter-tasting glass of orange juice on April 11. The next day, she said, he gave her a milkshake that also tasted bitter. She told police that she tasted the drinks and immediately poured them into the kitchen sink. Police said they have found no evidence of cyanide or arsenic in the Dampman home, but are testing an unknown substance discovered in a search.