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Kempster family voices son’s struggle with mental illness

Damon Kempster

The family of the Clinton teenager arrested this past week for making threats toward a local school on social media issued a statement to The Advertiser late Friday.

The teen’s mother, Kristy Wirth Kempster sent the statement through a Facebook message, and she cited her son’s battle with mental illness as the reason behind the threat. She also said her family had to make the tough decision to call the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office when the threat was discovered.

Here is the statement from the Kempster family:

“In light of the current situation, our family would like to give our sincerest apology for the actions of our son. Our son has struggled with mental illness since he was a small child. Over the years he has received help from numerous agencies. Our son is and was in crisis mode and was not thinking clearly.

“This by no means diminishes the severity of our son’s actions. Our family asks that out of this tragedy we hope that this will help someone else. If you know someone that is struggling with mental health issues please reach out to them, show them support. Please do not take the things they say lightly. Our son has always had a huge support system and as soon as his father and I (saw) his cries for help on social media we contacted Law enforcement. As a parent that is a hard pill to swallow, but we knew for the safety of the community, and for our son’s safety we had to act fast. We are very grateful to the Laurens County Sheriffs Office for the care that they have shown our family in this matter.” ­– The Kempster Family

Damon Keith Kempster, 17, was arrested by the LCSO on Thursday, May 3 and charged with breach of peace, aggravated in nature. He remained in the Johnson Detention Center Tuesday morning.


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