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Man accused of attacking mother with hatchet in their Hillsborough home

TAMPA — Marshall Tudhope has tried to kill himself about a dozen times, sheriff's reports show, and has talked about killing his family.

He's mentally ill, according to the reports, and believes he'll travel in time if he ends his life.

In September, after he slit his neck with a kitchen knife, a deputy wrote it was likely Tudhope, 22, would seriously hurt himself or others if he didn't get help.

On Thursday, Tudhope attacked his mother with a hatchet at their northwest Hillsborough County home, critically injuring her, the Sheriff's Office said. Janice Weir, 57, was cut on her head, hands and face.

As he swung the hatchet, Tudhope also threatened to kill his grandmother, Shirley Rhicard, 78, deputies say.

Tudhope was charged with attempted first-degree murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Tudhope's diagnosis and medications are protected under medical privacy laws, and attempts to reach his family Thursday were not successful.

In October, when Weir called 911 to report her son had tried to kill himself by taking her pills, she told a deputy he had attempted suicide about 13 times, a sheriff's report states.

Tudhope told the deputy he had just gotten out of a medical center and should not have been released, the report states.

He said he still felt suicidal and believes "there is a god but Einstein knows if you kill yourself you will travel to a different place in time," the report states.

He wanted to do that, he told the deputy.

Just two months earlier, his mother called 911, and when a deputy arrived, he found Tudhope intoxicated and pacing on the family's patio, saying he wanted to kill his family and see them in the afterlife, a report states. He was held under the Baker Act.

It's unclear what kind of treatment was pursued. The reports list several medications and at least once, Weir states her son had gone off them.

Because Tudhope is an adult, there is little authorities can force the family to do, said sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter. A person can be held for observation under the Baker Act for only up to 72 hours.

Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at (813) 226-3433 or

Man accused of attacking mother with hatchet in their Hillsborough home 02/24/11 [Last modified: Thursday, February 24, 2011 11:07pm]
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