November 4, 2017
Frank D. Altimari hits his father and stepmother with his car before killing his father with an axe
Frank’s father Nick and stepmother Felipita decided to go out for dinner on November 4, and invited Frank to join. He declined. Unknown to Nick and Felipita, however, Frank followed the couple to the restaurant then visited a home improvement center to purchase a long-handled double-sided axe. Frank returned to the restaurant, waited for his parents to get in their car, and followed them home.
When Nick and Felipita exited their vehicle in their driveway, they noticed a car approaching which seemed to accelerate. They were both struck by the other car, driven by Frank. Frank got out of his car, grabbed the axe from the trunk, and struck his father 43 times over his head, neck, and chest as Felipita (who had received a broken leg from the car striking her) pleaded for his life. Frank then put the axe back in the trunk of the car and left.
Police arrested Frank after finding his discarded hoodie covered in Nick’s blood and the bloody axe still in Frank’s trunk. During questioning, Frank offered an explanation for the killing, stating vaguely “The world would be a better place without my dad in it.”
Both the defense and prosecution agreed Frank was mentally ill during the murder, though they disagreed to the extent. Frank claimed he had been delusional at the time of the attack and believed his father had wanted to be mercy-killed by an axe. The prosecution argued there was no evidence to support he believed this at the time of the killing, such as journal entries or conversations with others. The defense noted that Frank, who had previously been diagnosed with psychosis and schizoaffective disorder, had stopped taking his medications shortly before the attack as he felt he no longer needed them, and the sudden discontinuation prompted the killing.
Frank pleaded no contest to second-degree murder for his father’s death and malicious wounding for hitting his stepmother with his car. The plea was in exchange for a lighter sentence, and Frank was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Bowes, Mark. “Chesterfield judge sentences U.Va. grad to 30 years in prison for killing father with ax.” Richmond Times-Dispatch. February 1, 2019. Accessed: November 4, 2019. https://www.richmond.com/news/local/crime/chesterfield-judge-sentences-u-va-grad-to-years-in-prison/article_2c8198b6-d1ca-57ba-8fc2-e74e7c9afb7f.html
Bowes, Mark. “Son convicted of fatally bludgeoning father, a former federal prosecutor, with double-bladed ax.” Richmond Times- Dispatch. November 13, 2018. Accessed: November 4, 2019. https://www.richmond.com/news/local/crime/son-convicted-of-fatally-bludgeoning-father-a-former-federal-prosecutor/article_d72bdc04-1047-57fb-9b4c-31245175c8be.amp.html