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By LINDSAY OLIVIER
PROVIDENCE â Two-and-a-half years after she killed her then-eight-year-old daughter and seven months after a jury found her guilty of second- degree murder following an emotional five-week trial, former North Kingstown resident Kimberly Fry was sentenced Tuesday afternoon to 40 years at the Adult Correctional Institute (ACI), with 20 to serve, for the August, 2009 murder of Camden Fry.
Because Fry avoided a life sentence, she will be eligible for parole after serving one third of her 20-year sentence which officially began the day she was incarcerated, on Aug. 11, 2009. With roughly two-and-a-half years served already, Fry could be eligible for parole as early as January 2016.
Rhode Island Assistant Attorney General Stephen Regine recommended a sentence of life in prison while Fryâs lawyer, Judith Crowell, asked for 10 years to serve with a probation period set by Judge William Carnes.
Neither request was granted.
âWhile weâre [the state] disappointed with the sentencing, we respect Judge Carnesâ decision,â Regine said. âBoth Kimberly and her attorneys have said they didnât want to go to trial. Well, that was something the state wasnât going to accept. That wouldnât have been justice for Camden.â
Standing outside Providence Superior Court after the sentencing, Kimberlyâs ex-husband, Timothy, addressed reporters and began by thanking the North Kingstown police and the attorney generalâs office for their due diligence in the investigation.
He also said that although a weight has been lifted off his and his familyâs shoulders,
moving forward will still be difficult.
âEven though itâs all over, for the past two-and-a-half years, weâve always anticipated coming to court and now weâre all going to be decompressing,â Timothy said. âMy life has been in shambles since Camden died and now I have to really deal with that.â
The sentencing came after two-and-a-half hours of attorney discussions, a victim impact statement from Timothy and a statement from Kimberly herself.
As officers took Fryâs handcuffs off as she entered the courtroom, she blew a kiss to her parents who were seated in the courtroom and mouthed âI love you.â
An emotional Timothy, whose divorce from Kimberly was granted by Providence Family Court just last month, reminisced about his time spent with Camden during his statement. He told the court how he had always wanted a daughter because his sister and brother already had boys.
âWhen Camden was born I couldnât wait to call my mom and sister and tell them I had gotten my baby girl,â he said. âI was choked up then much like I am now.â
Timothy told the court he spent every minute he could with Camden and the family lived in the lakes region of northern New Hampshire, the two of them would go swimming every night.
âI couldnât get her out of the water,â he said.
Timothy said he and his daughter would go biking regularly and he can still remember the day she took off on her bike without her training wheels.
âShe rolled off, said bye and winked at me,â Timothy said, fighting back tears. ââYou were right, Dad, I was born to rideâ she yelled back to me.â
During his impact statement, Timothy laughed as he told the court how heâd take Camden golfing with him and when they got out of the view of the clubhouse, heâd let her drive the cart. But that moment is now bittersweet, he said, because all he has left are memories of their time together.
âThis has torn us all apart,â he said. âThis all happened because all she wanted to do was stay up a little later during summer vacation. My heart is broken.â
Regine said the recommendation of a life sentence by the prosecution was based on the facts of the case and the verdict handed down by the grand jury. He also argued that Fry has not taken responsibility for her actions and has shown a lack of remorse for what happened to Camden.
âKimberly Fry has blamed everyone and everything for Camdenâs murder,â Regine said. âSheâs blamed it on a car accident, on her quitting drinking, not taking the correct medications and a panic attack. She blames everyone except her own hands.â
Regine told Carnes that Kimberly has âno potentialâ for rehabilitation, a point Crowell disagreed with, saying Kimberly loved Camden just as much as Timothy did and, like her former husband, is devastated, broken and lost.
Crowell, the third attorney to handle Kimberlyâs defense since the beginning of the trial, told Carnes that her client was so overwhelmed with guilt and remorse that she tried to kill herself after she discovered what had happened and that she was responsible for it.
âThe fact remains that Kimberlyâs actions caused the death of her daughter and sheâs never suggested otherwise,â said Crowell, who felt Regineâs request for a life sentence was âoutrageous.â
Crowell described Kimberly as leading an otherwise ordinary middle-class life and said that her client did her best to be the perfect mother, suggesting that that drive to be perfect may have been the problem.
It was no secret, Crowell continued, that Kimberly had mental health issues over the years leading up to Camdenâs death.
And though she had received treatment at times before the incident, and since the verdict, Crowell argued that because Kimberly wasnât receiving such treatment when the Fry family moved to Rhode Island, the problem may have gotten worse.
Crowell said sheâs positive that when Kimberly is released from prison, sheâll function well in the community and told the court that since being incarcerated, Fry has been helping other inmates through their own troubles and guilt.
âOnce released, Kimberly hopes to work with women who have recently been released from prison and help them in their transition back into society,â Crowell said. âBecause of her medical background as a nurse, sheâs interested in working with Doctors without Borders. She has a lot to offer the public and she should be afforded the opportunity to re-enter society to help make the world a better place.â
Kimberly was the last to speak before Carnes announced her fate. She began by saying she had been thinking of what to say for a couple of days but that, no matter what she said, it wouldnât bring Camden back.
âIâve hurt so many people,â she cried. âI tried to be the best mother I could. Camden was an amazing little girl who lit up the room when she walked in. Iâm not making any excuses. After I checked on her and noticed her state, I knew it was my fault and I didnât know what to do, so I ran to hurt myself. I didnât want to live a day without her.
âDuring her tantrum, she [Camden] was banging her legs, screaming and pulling her hair out. I wanted her to be safe. My actions killed my little girl and I canât change that.â
Fry explained that being incarcerated at the ACI is better than living in the real world because all she sees are brick walls and darkness.
Itâs only in her dreams, she said, where she sees Camden.
âI donât know how Timothy deals with this every day,â she said. âI canât imagine a life where you drive by something and youâre immediately reminded of something he did with Camden.â
Fry told Carnes sheâd be okay with whatever sentence he imposed and that living without Camden is punishment enough. She expressed her wonder of what Camden would have been like at 11 years old and called Timothy âan amazing provider, husband and fatherâ and apologized profusely to him during the sentencing.
Crowell is planning on appealing the sentencing.