A Cape St. Claire man accused of beating his 61-year-old mother in the head with a hammer out of fear she would report that he misused her credit card was denied bond Friday.
Robert Nolan Benscoter, 33, is charged with attempted second-degree murder, first- and second-degree assault and reckless endangerment.
A trial is scheduled for Aug. 7 in county Circuit Court in Annapolis.
The charges stem from an attack at his mother’s home on Hazel Nut Court in Cape St. Claire on the night of March 20.
Benscoter, an employee at Double T Diner, was living with his mother, Jo Benscoter, at the time. Assistant State’s Attorney Brian Marsh said at Friday’s hearing Benscoter was afraid his mother would call county police based on charges he ran up on her credit card without her permission.
Jo Benscoter was lying on her couch about 8 p.m. when her son struck her in the head with a hammer five or six times while saying, “You gotta die,”
according to prosecutors and court records.
The woman, while bleeding heavily from her head, was able to calm her son down and then run to a neighbor’s home for help.
Benscoter was gone when police arrived at the home. Next door, officers found his mother standing with her neighbors.
She was taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore where she was treated for a fractured skull.
The incident prompted a 90-minute manhunt in the Broadneck Peninsula. Police set up a perimeter with K-9 units and a helicopter. A K-9 eventually found Benscoter hiding in the woods about a half-mile from his mother’s home.
Benscoter told police he got into an argument with his mother while watching television and that everything after that was a blur.
He said he remembered seeing blood, getting scared and running out of the house, court documents say. He had blood on his hands and shirt at the time of his arrest.
Detectives searched the Benscoter home and found blood on the living room carpet and couch, along with the hammer. There was blood on the rear door handle and frame. And police found a blood-soaked black T-shirt in an upstairs bedroom.
Assistant Public Defender Michael Morrissette told Circuit Court Judge Michele D. Jaklitsch his client was not a flight risk and could live with his brother in Annapolis while awaiting trial this summer.
But Marsh argued Benscoter’s mother, who is cooperating with prosecutors, is afraid her son will retaliate and does not want him released. Marsh said Benscoter had two drug convictions from 1997.
Jaklitsch ordered Benscoter to be held without bond at Jennifer Road Detention Center in Parole, but said she would be open to another bail review hearing in the future.