Gillette Man Says Distant Attic People Triggered Him To Slit Mother’s Throat

A Gillette man told a sheriff’s investigator he was defending himself from people in a "distant attic" when he lifted his mother’s chin and slit her throat. He’s been charged with attempted murder, and she’s recovering in a hospital.

Clair McFarland

May 28, 20243 min read

Campbell County Memorial Hospital 9 12 23
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

A Gillette man accused of cutting his mother’s throat with a razor blade Saturday said he did so because people in a distant attic were threatening him, investigators say.

Scott Lyle Patenaude, who turns 32 this year, faces one count of second-degree attempted murder for allegedly slicing his mother’s throat after a verbal argument Saturday evening. The charge is punishable by between 20 years and life in prison.

He’s in the Campbell County Detention Center on a $100,000 cash-only bond, court documents show.

His mother is recovering in a hospital, Campbell County Undersheriff Quentin Reynolds told Cowboy State Daily on Tuesday.

This Intelligent Tapping

Patenaude was folding laundry in a trailer house on or near Hannum Road on Saturday, he told Campbell County Sheriff’s Investigator Justin Cody on Sunday, one day after his arrest, according to an evidentiary affidavit filed Tuesday in Gillette Circuit Court.

Patenaude allegedly told Cody that he has an infected tooth that keeps him up at night; loud trucks drive by on Hannum Road and there’s an “intelligent tapping” in the attic.

While he folded laundry, he and his 52-year-old mother got into an argument, Patenaude said, though he didn’t tell Cody what the argument was about, the affidavit says.

She was standing between 10 and 15 feet away from him, the man recounted. He stopped folding laundry, went into his room and retrieved his razor blade, the document relates from his interview.

Patenaude walked up behind her and, with no warning, lifted her chin and slit her neck from left to right, he allegedly told Cody. In doing so he was “not doing as much damage” as he could have, the affidavit relates.

He reportedly said he chose to lift her chin because she was always keeping her chin down.

He then went outside to smoke a cigarette and wait for deputies to arrive, the document says, adding that deputies found him trying to leave by the back door when they arrived.

Deputies came in response to the mother calling 911 herself, reportedly. She remained conscious during her 911 calls saying, "My son just slit my throat from behind and I'm bleeding out," the affidavit says.

Not That Attic

Patenaude allegedly said he cut his mother’s throat because he was defending himself from the people in the attic: not the attic of the home in which he lived, but the attic of his grandfather’s house, which is another residence on the same property but not physically connected to the home in which Patenaude lived.

Deputies reported they didn't find anyone besides Patenaude and his mother in the home the pair shared.

Patenaude told Cody repeatedly that he felt he had to defend himself, but he “never explained a situation in which there was any danger of physical harm to him,” says the affidavit.

He also did not describe his mother threatening him in any way, the document says.

Calmer Now

The affidavit says Patenaude said he felt less stressed since arriving at the jail. He asked Cody when he’d be getting “paper,” meaning case information.

He’d be getting papers that day, Cody said.

“Cool,” Patenaude reportedly answered.

Clair McFarland can be reached at

Share this article



Clair McFarland

Crime and Courts Reporter