Nashua man facing murder indictments in sister's deathBy KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent
April 21. 2013 10:29PM
NASHUA - Murder indictments have been handed up against a local man accused of killing his sister earlier this year at the home they shared together.
Duane Rolfe, 65, has been indicted by a Hillsborough County Superior Court grand jury on two alternate counts of murder, according to court documents.
Rolfe is accused of killing Judith Rolfe, 66, on Jan. 19, at their 8 Belmont St. home. Police have released few details about the case, but say she died of blunt force trauma to the head, with lacerations and contusions to the brain. Investigators have refused to identify what type of weapon may have been used to repeatedly strike Judith Rolfe, or what may have motivated the attack.
The siblings operated McDonald's kitchen shop in downtown Nashua for decades.
The indictments, which were handed up earlier this month, include two alternative counts of murder. The first-degree murder charge alleges that Rolfe purposely caused the death of his sister, while the second-degree murder charge alleges that he caused her death by manifesting an extreme indifference to human life, says court documents.
Rolfe's attorney raised the issue of competency early on in the investigation, seeking a competency evaluation for her client just two weeks after the murder. With attorneys already questioning his mental condition at the time of the attack, Judge Michael Ryan at the 9th Circuit Court, Nashua Division, granted the request.
Attorney Jacki Smith asked that the defense conduct its own evaluation to determine whether Rolfe is competent to stand trial, and whether he could possibly be deemed insane.
"We think it is appropriate in this case to get the (competency) process moving sooner rather than later," Smith told the court during a brief hearing earlier this year.
Once the defense completes its competency evaluation, Assistant Attorney General Peter Hinckley said previously that the state will have an opportunity to conduct its own, independent evaluation if that is deemed necessary.
A probable cause hearing scheduled earlier this year could not occur because of the competency concerns. Rolfe is now expected to be arraigned on April 29, say court records.
He has been held without bail since his arrest immediately following his sister's death.
The police affidavit detailing the crime has been sealed at the courthouse.