Man convicted of psych ward killing gets life in prison

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — A man convicted of killing a fellow patient in the psychiatric ward of a Massachusetts hospital has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Aldo Dunphe, of Spencer, was sentenced Thursday, three days after being convicted of first-degree murder for beating, choking and smothering 31-year-old Ratna Bhattarai, of Worcester, while both were patients at UMass Memorial Medical Center.

Authorities say on Nov. 5, 2013, the 26-year-old Dunphe bashed the victim’s head on the floor, smothered him with a pillow, and stuffed a towel in his mouth to stop him from breathing. Bhattarai died two days later.

Dunphe’s lawyer said his client suffered a psychotic break and has filed a motion seeking to reduce the conviction to second-degree murder, which would make him eligible for parole in 15 years.

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