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Tess Damm up for parole, first time since being incarcerated as a teen for mother's murder

Damm, 26, will meet with parole board Wednesday
Posted at 5:55 PM, Feb 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-13 19:55:28-05

DENVER – In 2007, Tess Damm directed her then-boyfriend, Bryan Grove, to stab Linda Damm to death at the family’s Lafayette home.

Linda Damm was the girl’s mother.

Nearly 10-years after being convicted, Damm is up for parole for the first time on Wednesday. She was incarcerated as a 16-year-old for her role in her mother’s death.

Denver7 obtained a copy of Damm’s Offender Letter to the Community Corrections Board/Program, dated April 19th, 2017.

In the letter to the Colorado State Board of Parole, Damm wrote, “I am able to see my thought process that led to my crime, and I know that I will never find myself back at that place.”

Early Denver7 reports found that was documented as a place of anger and hatred.

It was in those early court documents that explain Damm and her then-17-year-old boyfriend, first talked about murdering Linda. Police said Damm plotted to kill her mother because of abuse and neglect.

We spoke with Denver Criminal Defense Lawyer, Kimberly Diego, who said, “That is something that can be viewed as mitigating if the abuse, I suppose, is documented or credible.”

The murder happened in February 2007. Grove reportedly stabbed Linda 18 times in the neck, weeks before her body was found.

Documents reveal the teens then tried to dump her body twice-- once in an Erie landfill and once in a shallow grave at a Boulder cemetery. All of this activity took place before their arrests.

In total, four teens were charged in connection to Linda’s murder including the couple’s friends Jared Smith, then-16, and Jared Guy, then-18. Both teens accepted plea deals for their roles in covering up the murder.

Damm’s 2017 letter to the parole board goes on to read, “It is difficult to articulate the extent of my remorse for the choices I made that cost my mother her life.”

She has since applied for discretionary parole.

The 26-year-old will be interviewed by one member of Colorado’s parole board, and that member then will make a recommendation. He or she will either defer Damm’s application for a specified time, or release her to discretionary — instead of mandatory — parole.

“The parole board is going to evaluate the juvenile's criminal record and essentially why they are incarcerated in the Department of Corrections,” Diego added. “And the nature of the crimes, the circumstances of the crime, and how they've behaved since they've been incarcerated.”

Damm wrote the 25-year-old who penned the April 19th letter was drastically different from the teen she was. This is something attorney Diego said could very well be the case.

“I think people certainly can change, particularly if they are juveniles when the incident occurred.” Diego continued, “Obviously, there is science that dictates that a juvenile's brain is not fully, necessarily developed, in terms of decision making at that age.”

Denver7 will attend Wednesday’s parole hearing and will include updates to the story as they come in.