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Mentally Ill Man Sentenced for Fatal Attack on Family Members

March 15, 2016


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Antonetta Stancu, 215.348.6340, astancu@buckscounty.org


A Wrightstown man was sentenced Monday to serve 10 to 30 years in state prison for an attack in which he fatally injured his 95-year-old grandmother while trying to kill his father, who was seriously injured.

Jared Rose, 26, pleaded guilty but mentally ill in the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas to charges of attempted murder, involuntary manslaughter and disarming a law enforcement officer.

On Jan. 29, 2015, Rose entered the home office of his father, Marc Rose, who was working at his desk. Holding a Swiss Army knife in his hand, Jared Rose stabbed himself in the chest, prompting his father to call 911.

Rose grabbed the phone from his father, then began beating him. Rose’s grandmother, Lorraine Patterson, heard the violence, entered the office and was struck in the face when she tried to intervene.

Patterson, who lost several teeth and suffered numerous facial fractures, was taken to St. Mary Medical Center. She died there 19 days later of pneumonia, a complication of the treatment of her injuries. Her death was ruled a homicide.

To be found guilty but mentally ill, a defendant must be determined to have a mental disease or defect that leaves him without substantial capacity either to appreciate the wrongfulness of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the requirements of the law.

Reports submitted by three separate medical professionals found Rose to be suffering from bipolar disorder and schizoaffective disorder.

“He is a person who suffers from significant mental health issues,” President Judge Jeffrey L. Finley said in accepting Rose’s plea. The judge recommended that Rose be incarcerated at the State Correctional Institute at Waymart, which has a treatment center for psychiatric care.

Family members urged Finley to impose a minimal sentence on Rose. His mother, Lynn Rose, who is also Patterson’s daughter, described an unusually close and loving relationship between her son and his diminutive, 100-pound grandmother, who lived in their home on Lark Lane.

“She was his security blanket,” Lynn Rose testified. “He always told me, `She loves me unconditionally, so I don’t always have to be a good boy.’”

She asked Finley to imprison her son only until his mental illness could be effectively treated and he was deemed to no longer be dangerous.

“What happened, happened only because of mental illness,” defense attorney Louis Busico argued.

Deputy District Attorney Antonetta Stancu countered that Rose’s long history of violence and threats at home, school and elsewhere makes a danger-free future impossible to predict.

She urged Finley not to discount or minimize the extreme violence Rose displayed in breaking his father’s jaw and ribs, shattering his grandmother’s face and attacking a police officer who responded to the scene.

After the initial assault inside the house, Rose pursued his father outside, beating him with a golf club, and then stabbing him with the shaft when the club broke. By the time Newtown Township Officer Daniel Clifton arrived, Rose, who had stripped down to his underwear, was pummeling his father, who lay in a fetal position in the snow.

When Clifton attempted to intervene, Rose turned on the officer, telling him, “I guess it’s going to be you now.” Despite being shot twice with a Taser, Rose grabbed for Clifton’s gun, seizing the holstered handle. The officer was able to pull away and force Rose to the ground, struggling with him for several minutes until backup officers arrived.

Clifton was questioned in court by Deputy District Attorney Christopher Rees, who asked what might have happened if the defendant had successfully taken his gun. “I could have been dead,” Clifton responded.

Had it not been for Clifton’s commendable restraint, Stancu added, “perhaps the defendant would not be here.”

In sentencing Rose, Finley said he was troubled that most of the family’s testimony had centered on the needs of the defendant, rather than on the loss of their other relative.

“I couldn’t help while sitting here thinking there was a callous weighing of one life against another,” the judge said. “I hope that’s not the case.”

Finley said that Rose’s inability to consistently control his violence despite 20 years of mental health treatment gave him pause as well. “I can’t disregard the history here,” he said.

The judge sentenced Rose to serve 10 to 30 years for attempted murder, with a concurrent two to five years for involuntary manslaughter. He added a consecutive sentence of seven years of probation for disarming a law enforcement officer.

Approved for release by Marc J. Furber, Deputy District Attorney.

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