Kimberly Fry blamed her daughter for her depression, and frequently expressed her wish that the young girl wasn't around so she and her husband could be alone the way it used to be, according to emotional testimony from her husband, Timothy Fry, Monday afternoon.
Fry broke down briefly Monday when describing the last time he saw his daughter, on the evening of Aug. 10, 2009, as he was leaving the family's North Kingstown home for a hockey game. The next morning, Tim Fry found his daughter dead in her bed, a victim of strangulation, according to a state medical examiner. Kimberly Fry is on trial for second-degree murder, charged with strangling her 8-year-old daughter after a temper tantrum over taking a bath.
The couple for years had been dealing with frequent outbursts from their daughter, Camden, who was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Fry said. Camden would sometimes refuse to stop playing when it was time for a bath, or time for the family to leave a party, for example, Fry testified. He said when he was traveling for work, Kimberly Fry would tell him of more violent outbursts, including screaming, kicking and hitting, which he said he did not witness when he was home.
The family sought counseling for their daughter and the family as a whole, receiving treatment from family therapist Wendy Phillips, who also testified last week that that Kimberly Fry blamed their daughter for her depression. Kimberly also threatened to kill herself during a counseling session, Timothy Fry said, but was able to convince Phillips that it was an idle threat.
Less than two weeks later, on the same night as Camden's death, Kimberly Fry took a mix of antidepressants and pain killers in a failed bid to kill herself, penning a note to her husband. In the note, Fry indicated she could no longer handle the crying and outbursts from Camden, prosecutor Stephen Regine told the jury of seven men and seven women last Friday. Regine read excerpts from the letter, quoting Fry as writing, “I wanted to run away, not from you but from her. All I wanted was a nice decent life. I was beaten down by an 8-year-old.”
In earlier testimony Monday, Timothy Fry described his daughter as a happy, energetic, spirited little girl who loved to swim, play soccer and hockey, and play with her friends. From the time she was young, however, the parents noticed frequent outbursts, particulalrly around times of "transitions" — when it was time to end play time, or move from one activity to another. Eventually, the couple came to realize Camden was displaying attributes of ADHD, a diagnosis that was confirmed in the summer of 2009.
Once she started taking medicine, Camden's behavior improved, but some episodes would still occur, Fry said. He described a time that summer when he was on a business trip and got a call from Kim telling him of an outburst in which "Kim had to sit on Camden to stop her from screaming and hitting," he said.
Tim Fry said his wife, a nurse and master's candidate in family therapy, often researched techniques to work with ADHD-afflicted children. It was just such a "restraint technique" Kimberly Fry was employing on the night of her daughter's death, defense attorney Sarah Wright said in her opening statement last Friday morning, arguing there was no intent to kill Camden Fry.
Timothy Fry is expected to return to the stand when court resumes Tuesday morning. Follow the trial daily on patch.com.