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Man pleads not guilty in murder of his father

Brian Rossel on Monday pleaded not guilty to a second-degree murder charge that he killed his 84-year-old father, Donald J. Rossel, last spring.

The elder Rossel's body was discovered March 29 in his South Buffalo home.

Brian Rossel, 50, will be examined by doctors within the next month to see if he's competent to stand trial.

John R. Nuchereno, Rossel's defense attorney, said he will select a doctor in addition to two county-selected psychiatrists to examine his client.

Brian Rossel's lifelong history of mental illness includes schizophrenia, Nuchereno said.

"If you piled up his psychiatric records, it would reach 5 feet high," Nuchereno said after Monday's arraignment.

Arrest reports showed Rossel lists his address as 400 Forest Ave., the Buffalo Psychiatric Center.

Rossel, who appeared before State Supreme Court Justice Russell P. Buscaglia, remains locked up without bail.

Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III said Rossel beat and strangled his father between March 28 and 29 inside the home at 45 Susan Lane.

Rossel faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

Nuchereno said no decision could be made at this point on using an insanity defense. The upcoming psychiatric tests will be held just to see if he's fit to stand trial.

"We would anticipate further exams," Nuchereno said, to help shape trial strategy.

Rossel was an early suspect, although his arrest didn't come for more than two months after the killing.

Police interviewed Rossel on July 8 in Police Headquarters and later arrested him, saying he made admissions that only the killer would know.

email: plakamp@buffnews.com

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