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New Hampshire Union Leader (Manchester, NH)
May 23, 2001
Author: NANCY MEERSMAN Union Leader Staff
On the second day of Brian Patten’s trial for the first-degree double murder of his parents, prosecutors introduced a notebook yesterday containing Patten’s suicidal scribblings and a letter from a state enforcement agency demanding Patten make child support payments.
The state claims Patten, already beset by money pressures and personal failings, killed his 63-year-old stepfather, Donald Lefebvre, and his mother, Pamela Levebvre, 54, because they wanted him to start contributing one-third of his pay to remain living with them.
Patten’s public defenders are trying to show that the 31-year-old Goffstown resident was heavily medicated for mental conditions, was suicidally depressed and lost control. They contend he killed his parents, but the crime was not deliberate or premeditated, and therefore it wasn’t first-degree murder.
Jurors hearing the case in Hillsborough County Superior Court were presented with police photographs of the blood-saturated living room where Patten bludgeoned his stepfather with a croquet mallet, mutilating his face beyond recognition.
They also saw shots of the downstairs bedroom where Patten cracked open his mother’s skull with the mallet and dropped it on the sheets, which were sopped in blood.
Much of the trial yesterday was taken up by the cataloguing of evidence photographed and collected from the Lefebvres’ cape style house at 5 Kermit St., Goffstown, in a quiet neighborhood not far from the bustle of Mast Road.
Pamela Lefebvre died two days after the June 3, 2000 attack, while her husband, Donald, expired of his wounds eight days after he was beaten.
State Police Sgt. Susan Forey, who took video pictures of the crime scene, told jurors there were gouge marks on both ends of the wooden mallet.
Investigators found the rounded disc from one end of the mallet between two pillows on Mrs. Lefebvre’s bed. The other end cap had fallen off before the attack, she said.
Forey said broken eyeglasses and a partial dental plate belonging to Donald Lefebvre were found on the living room floor. One lens was found behind the couch, she said, and blood was spattered on the walls and ceiling.
In Patten’s upstairs bedroom, investigators found a sales slip showing he purchased an eight-pack of Guinness beer from a grocery store two or three hours before the slayings. Four empty cans were left in the beer carton.
Forey said a spiral notebook was open to a page that contained Patten’s blood. (A nurse had testified earlier yesterday that she treated Patten for a shallow laceration to the right wrist after the killings.)
She read incoherent sentences in which Patten wrote he was in a war for his children and “I will die in it.” She said Patten dated the page June 3, 2000 and wrote, “I, Brian K. Patten, died for my daughter and son … I’m truly sorry.”
Forey said the next page says, “I’ve had serial killing intentions for a while. I thought before I killed to end it.”
Also found in Patten’s room was a list of amounts he owed in child support, to his dentist, to his parents and to others.
Under cross examination by public defender Caroline Smith, Forey said police also collected empty prescription bottles and sample packets containing Prozac and other anti-depressants.
Smith also elicited from the trooper writings from the notebook written a year before the killings in which Patten said, “I would have loved to be happy just once” and lamented about “beautify kids gone, a marriage gone” and says, “I live in deep pain.”
Record Number: 0F544F4CDB40FBB8