Citing cop cases, Kimberly Fry asking for conviction to be vacated

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) -- Kimberly Fry, the North Kingstown woman convicted in 2011 of killing her 8-year-old daughter, Camden, is now asking a court to vacate her conviction because of reports that police officers were not found culpable for accidentally killing detainees while restraining them, similar to what she says she had been trying to do to her upset child.

Fry's request was heard Monday morning at a hearing in a judge's chambers, according to Craig Berke, a spokesperson for the Rhode Island court system. Fry had filed a request with the court January 31, 2017. She argued how lawyers assigned to her were not given a sufficient budget by the public defenders' office to submit a proper defense, including the lack of ability to present a psychiatric expert witness.

Fry's petition also noted cases of police officers in New York and Florida who accidentally killed detainees while applying restraint, but the officers were not convicted as she was. "The same 4-6 minutes of continuous pressure" - as was discussed at trial in Camden's death - "was needed to cause death (after loss of consciousness), yet malice was not inferred," Fry said in the petition.

During Monday's hearing in chambers, the court appointed George J. West as attorney for Fry's new appeal, and he requested time to review the case.

A jury convicted Fry of second-degree murder, finding her guilty of strangling the girl after a lengthy tantrum where she refused to take a bath.

Fry appealed for a new trial, with her attorney claiming she'd had diminished capacity because she'd taken a bunch of pills, but the jury had not been instructed that was an option for conviction. Diminished capacity implies the defendant was mentally impaired, and frequently results in a conviction of a lesser crime.

But prosecutors said it couldn't be proven what effect the drugs had on her. The state Supreme Court denied Fry's appeal in Feb. 2016.

After the conviction, Fry was sentenced to 40 years in prison with 20 to serve for killing her daughter.

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