MARCH 08, 06:24 EST

Girl Charged in Psychiatrist Death
Associated Press

SHREWSBURY, Mass. (AP) — A 16-year-old girl who had a turbulent relationship with her mother has been charged in the bludgeoning death of the woman, a prominent psychiatrist who specialized in criminal behavior.

Dr. Kathleen Thomsen-Hall was found beaten and bleeding at the foot of her stairway on Sunday. She died Tuesday.

Authorities say her daughter, Valerie Hall, threw her mother down the stairs and beat her with a hammer. She was arraigned Monday in Juvenile Court on attempted murder and drug charges; prosecutors say additional charges may be filed by a grand jury next month.

Police records detail a troubled relationship between the pair. Thomsen-Hall called police on two occasions to say the girl was assaulting her in their Shrewsbury home, 35 miles west of Boston.

The first time was in August 1997, when the girl was just 13.

In the second incident, last December, the doctor reported that her daughter was ``throwing glass and out of control,'' the Worcester Telegram and Gazette reported today, citing police records.

Police responded two other times to possible overdoses, characterized in at least one case as a suicide attempt by the girl. Those occurred on Christmas Eve 1998 and Jan. 25 of this year.

Susan Dore, who worked with Thomsen-Hall to obtain insurance coverage for the mentally ill, said the psychiatrist was trying to help her daughter.

``Every time she talked about her daughter, it was clear there were problems, but she wanted her to be OK,'' said Dore, a legislative policy director for the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill.

``Whatever was wrong with her daughter, this was a ship that she was trying to right,'' Dore told the Boston Herald. ``She was protective of her daughter. In no way would Kathleen want her daughter to be sitting alone in a cell somewhere. She wanted everyone who was in trouble to be treated with compassion.''

The psychiatrist had come to the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 1997 from Little Rock, Ark., where she had been in private practice for at least 15 years. In Arkansas she had been active in pushing for state legislation to assist the mentally ill, and in 1998 she was honored by the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill as one of its exemplary psychiatrists.

Copyright 2000 Associated Press.