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    Saturday, April 20, 2024

    Antoine pursuing insanity defense in death of pregnant wife in Norwich

    The lawyer for Patrick Antoine, who is accused of fatally stabbing his pregnant wife in Norwich on June 2, 2016, has notified the state that he will be seeking an insanity defense.

    Antoine, 43, told police he killed Margarette Mady, who was carrying a baby girl, and set fire to their Franklin Street apartment because he believed his wife was a "voodoo priestess" who planned to kill him as a sacrifice before the child's birth.

    He is charged with murder, first-degree arson and assault of a pregnant woman resulting in the termination of the pregnancy. He is being held in lieu of $2 million at the Garner Correctional Institution, a state Department of Correction facility with services for mentally ill prisoners.

    His attorney, Robert F. Kappes, notified the state in documents filed Monday in New London Superior Court that he would be pursuing an insanity defense and that he will "introduce expert testimony on the existence and nature of mental disease and defect."

    If the court finds Antoine insane, he would be committed to the Whiting Forensic Hospital for up to 60 years under the care of Psychiatric Security Review Board.

    Following Antoine's arrest, a judge ruled that he was incompetent to stand trial and committed him to Whiting so that he could be restored. He was ruled competent, and returned to prison, after five months.

    The standards for competency and insanity are different. Competency means only that the court has determined he is able to understand the court proceedings and assist in his defense.

    To prove insanity, Antoine will have to convince the court that when he committed the crime he lacked capacity as a result of mental disease or defect to appreciate the wrongfulness of his conduct or to control his conduct.

    Supervisory Assistant State's Attorney David J. Smith is prosecuting the case, and Judge Arthur C. Hadden is presiding.

    Antoine's next court date is Jan. 23.

    k.florin@theday.com

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