A father accused of trying to fatally stab his two young sons was on PCP at the time of the incident and has been depressed because of a recent breakup, according to his family.
Christian Dillard, 25, of Forestville appeared in court Monday for a bail review hearing one day after police charged him with attempted murder, child abuse and assault. A judge ordered Dillard held without the possibility of release, saying he posed a threat to himself and others.
Police and prosecutors said he sexually assaulted a woman with whom he had been in a relationship and stabbed his children, ages 2 and 3, before attempting to kill himself Saturday night.
Michelle Mattison, Dillard’s mother, told a judge that she had been trying to get help for her son for the past two weeks when he became depressed and suicidal. Mattison told a judge he was on PCP at the time of the incident.
“Christian didn’t know what he was doing,” said Mattison, who dabbed tissue at her face when her son, wearing an orange jumpsuit, appeared for the court proceeding via closed-circuit television.
Dillard’s public defender did not address the possible use of PCP during the hearing Monday.
Officers were called around 10 p.m. Saturday to a home in the 1700 block of Dennis Court in Forestville for a report of a stabbing, according to police.
A woman in the house reported that she heard crying in the basement and that when she went downstairs, she saw that the two children had been stabbed, according to police charging papers. She said she also saw Dillard stabbing himself and trying to slash his throat, the documents state. The woman fled the home with the children to seek help before the boys were transported to a hospital with critical injuries.
The condition of Dillard’s sons had stabilized by Sunday, and they are expected to survive, police said.
Ron Porter Jr., Dillard’s younger brother, said Dillard was a good father who took care of his children but made a mistake. Porter said that his brother did not have a history of mental illness but that a recent breakup with his girlfriend likely triggered problems.
“He didn’t know what he was doing,” Porter said. “He just lost it.”
“This is not the normal Christian I know,” his mother said later.
Angela Alsobrooks, state’s attorney for Prince George’s County, called the incident a “vicious assault” on two young children as the community continues to confront domestic violence. She said domestic-related homicides now outpace drug-related killings in Prince George’s, to the detriment of families.
“Domestic violence and child abuse go hand-in-hand,” Alsobrooks said.