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Testimony in hospital psychiatric ward killing to start

April 24, 2016

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — Testimony in the murder trial of a man charged with killing a fellow patient in the psychiatric ward of a Massachusetts hospital is scheduled to get underway.

The first witnesses in the trial of 26-year-old Aldo Dunphe, of Spencer, are expected to take the stand Monday. Jury selection began last week.

Prosecutors say Dunphe killed 31-year-old Ratna Bhattarai, of Worcester, in November 2013 in the psychiatric unit at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester.

Police say Dunphe told investigators he tried to smother Bhattarai with a pillow, choked and beat him, and stuffed a wash cloth in the victim’s mouth and filled his nose with paper towels to stop him from breathing.

Dunphe’s lawyer has said his client was suffering from mental illness at the time and lacks criminal responsibility.

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Information from: Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, Mass.), http://www.telegram.com

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