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Man charged with murdering mother at hospital plans insanity defense

Union Leader Correspondent

August 28. 2018 1:52PM
Travis Frink of Warwick, R.I., seen in Grafton County Superior Court for his arraignment in September 2017. (UNION LEADER FILE/POOL)

The legal team representing the Rhode Island man charged with shooting his mother to death in her New Hampshire hospital bed intends to use an insanity defense.

Travis Frink, 49, was arrested on Sept. 12, 2017, the same day he fled Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon after allegedly shooting his mother multiple times. Pamela Ferriere, 70, was recovering from a stroke.

Frink, a divorced father of three sons, remains held without bail.

Public defenders Martha Ann Hornick and Caroline Smith wrote that when Frink spoke with police shortly after his arrest, his comments were based on delusional beliefs that he was taken from the womb of his birth mother and became a subject of bizarre and sadistic scientific experiments.

He further believed that Ferriere was among the scientists conducting these experiments — which he told investigators resulted in the deaths of numerous children — and when the research was shut down Ferriere took him home and raised him as her child and caused a chip to be placed in his brain.

In a two-page notice, the defense team asserts that Frink’s actions were a symptom of his mental illness.

He was indicted on alternate counts of first- and second-degree murder in December 2017, charging that he either purposely caused his mother’s death by shooting her, or that he acted recklessly under circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to the value of human life when he shot her in the ICU, mortally wounding her.

The defense further disclosed that Frink told investigators he had not been taking any medication and had not slept for a long period of time before the shooting. According to his lawyers, he had been hospitalized in the past; his prior diagnoses include “bipolar disorder mixed, severe with psychotic features, rule out psychotic disorder, schizoaffective disorder.”

Jury selection is set for Nov. 26, with the trial to begin Dec. 3. Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeff Strelzin and Assistant Attorney General Danielle Horgan are prosecuting the case.

Courts Crime Lebanon

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