Alzheimer's Patient Won't Be Charged With Husband's Murder

Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013  |  Updated 6:41 PM EDT
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No Murder Charge for Alzheimer's Patient

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An Alzheimer's patient accused of fatally shooting her husband inside their southern New Jersey home last summer won't have to stand trial on murder charges.

State Superior Court Judge Terence Cook recently dismissed the charges against 77-year-old Fredricka Rosa. Cook had ruled in April that the Pemberton Township resident was not mentally competent to stand trial.

Rosa was charged in the death of her 79-year-old husband, Valpa Rosa Sr. His body was found in the couple's home in July 2012 after police were called there by one of the couple's children.

The couple had been married for 54 years.

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Family members tell The Philadelphia Inquirer that Rosa said she shot her husband because she saw him sexually assaulting their granddaughter. But the granddaughter wasn't at the home that day.

Cedric Edwards, Fredricka Rosa's public defender, said "three or four'' psychiatric reports had determined she suffers from Alzheimer's and is no longer aware she killed her husband, a retired postal worker.

Deputy First Assistant Burlington County Prosecutor James Ronca concurred, saying reports were "very clear'' that Rosa was unfit to proceed with a trial and that her condition was progressive and irreversible.

Ronca said that Rosa's disease was advanced and that the prosecution had ``no legal basis to contest it, so we have to do the right thing.''

Rosa's children, who attended the hearing, rejoiced at the decision.

"I got my mother back ... and we can put my father's death behind us,'' said Rosetta Rosa, 51, who moved in with her mother after she and her brother learned of the shooting a few days after it happened.
 

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