Officials put Spicknall on suicide watch

January 17, 2002

Richard W. Spicknall II, a Howard County man serving life in prison for the murders of his two children, was released from a Laurel hospital yesterday and transferred to a psychiatric ward at the Patuxent Institution, where he was under a suicide watch, state correctional officials said.

Spicknall was taken to Laurel Regional Hospital on Jan. 9 in a coma after he was found unconscious in his cell at the Maryland House of Correction Annex, said Leonard A. Sipes Jr., a spokesman for the state Department Of Public Safety and Correctional Services.

The 29-year-old inmate was taken off life support after emerging from the coma Monday night, Sipes said. After reviewing Spicknall's hospital records and meeting with doctors, Sipes said, investigators hope to be able to determine whether Spicknall was poisoned or whether he overdosed - intentionally or accidentally.

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