Howard County Times
Howard County

Girl didn't show remorse in father's death, doctors say

Morgan Lane Arnold said she was "glad" her father was dead and wished her boyfriend had also killed her father's girlfriend, a forensic psychiatrist testified in court Wednesday.

The Howard County teenager was in a state of active psychosis when she made the comments about her father, Dennis Lane, said the psychiatrist, Neil Blumberg, who testified as an expert witness for the girl's defense.


Arnold's lawyers are trying to get her case transferred to the juvenile system. The girl, now 16, is accused of asking her then-boyfriend, Jason Bulmer, to kill Lane.

"I'm glad he's dead," Arnold said at one point after she was arrested, according to records Blumberg read aloud in Howard County Circuit Court. "My fantasy came true. He disappeared."


Lane, a popular local businessman who worked in commercial real estate, was stabbed to death in May 2013 inside his Ellicott City home. Bulmer pleaded guilty to the slaying and has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Wednesday was the second day of testimony in a hearing to determine whether Arnold's case should be sent to juvenile court. Arnold was 14 at the time of the killing and was charged as an adult with first-degree murder and other counts.

Both she and Bulmer have been described as social misfits who were interested in vampires and other fantasy characters.

Much of the testimony Wednesday delved into Arnold's mental health history and the litany of evaluations she had undergone throughout her life. She has been diagnosed at different points as having attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, depression, anxiety, schizoaffective disorder, and Asperger's, a form of autism.

Mental health professionals who testified said she consistently described a character named "Nymeria," which she said was a dark being that awoke within her and took over her body. Nymeria is the name of a wolf character on the popular television show "Game of Thrones."

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Blumberg interpreted the appearance of Nymeria as a sign that Arnold suffered hallucinations, while other mental health providers did not reach that conclusion.

Arnold is intellectually "slow" and is psychologically in the age range between 9 and 12, child and adolescent psychologist Kiu Eubanks told the court.

There were some "discrepancies" in the way Arnold presented herself, said Eubanks, who testified for the prosecution. For instance, the teen told Eubanks she was afraid of her boyfriend and that he controlled her, but transcripts of electronic communications show she repeatedly told him she wanted him to kill Lane.


Testimony in the case has indicated that while Lane thought it best to push his daughter to participate in extracurricular activities she found difficult, her mother, Cindi Arnold, tended to try to shelter her. The parents were never married and shared custody of Morgan Arnold.

The hearing is scheduled to continue Aug. 6. Judge William Tucker will determine factors such as the girl's health, whether she has the potential for rehabilitation, and the risk to public safety if she is not incarcerated.