Burlington County NJ woman’s murder charge dropped due to dementia

August 22nd, 2013 No Comments

Dementia cited as reason for dropping Burlington County NJ woman’s murder charge

Fredricka Rosa, 78, from Burlington County allegedly shot and killed her husband in 2012 and was charged with first-degree murder and unlawful possession of a weapon. A judge recently dropped the charges after it was determined her dementia made her incompetent to stand trial. Ms. Rosa was diagnosed with dementia in 2009. It’s unclear why Ms. Rosa shot her husband; she has no recollection of the alleged crime. The victim, Valpa Rosa, had several guns in the home which were not locked away.

The dangers of having guns near those with dementia

Persons with dementia are not safe owning or handling guns. It’s also unsafe for family members living in the same home with their loved one. Their memory is impaired, as well as their judgement. Dementia may cause hallucinations, which can trigger a person into believing an intruder is in the home, when in reality it’s a family member or a shadow on the wall. A person with dementia may believe they are in serious peril and will not hesitate to shoot.

If you have an older loved one who owns one or more guns, follow these tips:

  • Is the gun owner truly able–physically and mentally–to handle a gun?
  • If the gun owner is not competent, get their permission to release the weapon from their home.
  • If the gun owner isn’t competent to own firearms, and refuses to release the gun(s), remove it from the home anyway. You may need to enlist assistance from your local police department.


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