Man accused of murdering sister is sole heir to her estateBy KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent
January 30. 2014 9:26PM
NASHUA — One year after a city business owner was allegedly killed by her schizophrenic brother, new revelations are being made about her estate.
According to court documents, Judith Rolfe’s estate has been awarded to Duane Rolfe, the same man accused of beating her to death on Jan. 19, 2013, at the Nashua home they shared for decades.
“It has recently been reported that Mr. Rolfe has significant funds as the sole intestate heir to his sister’s estate, or in the form of jointly held funds,” Timothy Landry, public defender, says in court documents on file at the Hillsborough County Superior Court.
The documents go on to say that police found an unknown amount of money while searching the siblings’ home at 8 Belmont St., which is where Judith Rolfe was found murdered from multiple blunt force injuries to her head and contusions to her brain.
Despite the inheritance, Landry says he is not aware that Duane Rolfe has access to, or the legal right to expend any of the funds. Landry has already indicated his intention to possibly seek an insanity defense for his client.
Duane Rolfe, who operated McDonald’s kitchen shop in downtown Nashua for decades with his sister, was originally scheduled for trial this week on two alternative counts of murder.
Duane Rolfe was deemed incompetent to stand trial last summer, however, and a status conference hearing has since been planned for March 4.
“Mr. Rolfe is not presently competent to stand trial but is potentially restorable,” according to court documents. Court records indicate that Dr. Philip Kinsler, a clinical and forensic psychologist, believes Duane Rolfe’s mental status is improving, and that medical treatment since his incarceration has been beneficial.
If the defense believes Rolfe’s competency has been restored before the next hearing in March, it may inform the state to expedite the case, court records say. The scheduling of a restorability hearing may be requested by either party, according to a previous ruling.
Kinsler has diagnosed Duane Rolfe as psychotic, or legally insane, at the time of the alleged attack. According to court documents, Rolfe was likely suffering from schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, which manifests itself in illogical, irrational and delusional behavior.
The state conducted its own mental evaluation on Rolfe to determine whether he is competent to stand trial. Dr. Albert Drukteinis, a clinical psychiatrist, performed the state’s evaluation, although that document has been sealed at the courthouse.