Police make second arrest in 2014 brutal ‘murder for hire’ case in East Hampton

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James McMahon

EAST HAMPTON — State police have made a second arrest in case where a woman was severely beaten in September 2014 in a murder-for-hire case gone wrong.

On September 16, around 11:48 p.m., police were called to White Birch Road after a woman was severely beaten. The woman was identified at the time by State Police as Lisa Rader, 57.

Rader was found on the floor in the living quarters attached to the stable at White Birth Horse Farm. She was bleeding heavily from her face and head, and was transported to Marlborough Hospital with life-threatening injuries. She was then stabilized at the hospital before being transported to St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, where she underwent emergency surgery for her severe injuries.

Police say that Rader told them the day after the assault that she was sleeping in her bed when she was awakened by an unknown person, who was hitting her, though she wasn’t sure what with.

Police found three items with her blood on them in her bedroom: a cast-iron fire poker, which was on the floor under her bed and had a broken tip that was in a pool of her blood; a small cast-iron kettle that was dented and had her blood on it; and a heavy metal pot cover that had her blood on it.

About eight hours after the assault, police met with the victim’s daughter and son-in-law, Amy and Matthew Frick, of Portland.

Amy and Matthew separately told police that the victim was crazy, and that they had last spoken to her in January 2013.

Matthew, 28, said she was a “crazy, evil person who has made their lives a living hell,” and that he and his wife had reported to Portland Police several times that the victim was slandering them and their businesses online, as well as stalking and cyber-bullying them.

Amy said she had a falling out with her mother in January 2013 after the victim thought Amy was abandoning her. Matthew said the victim accused Amy of stealing social security money from her father, who lives in a nursing home.

Matthew said that on the night of the assault he was at work at the other business he owns, Stadium Burgers & Brews in Plainville, from 11:15 a.m. to 11:53 p.m. He then arrived home at 12:20 a.m. Amy said she was with their toddler all night and that she fell asleep at 10:42 p.m., while her husband was still at work.

When police asked the victim on the day after the accident if she was having problems with anyone or knew who could have assaulted her, she said “Matty,” her son-in-law, referring to Matthew Frick.

Two people who knew the involved parties said Matthew Frick spoke about bashing in his mother-in-law’s skull in the three months before the assualt, and that he said he couldn’t wait until she died.

In February, Matthew Frick failed a lie detector test he volunteered to take. After that, he provided a written statement to police detailing his knowledge and involvement in the incident.

In the statement, he said that he was getting to the end of his patience with the victim after she repeatedly made comments on social media and in general disparaging him and his wife and child. About two weeks before the assault, Frick said that a man came to his restaurant while he was working around lunchtime, and that the man, who he didn’t know, said he could help take care of the problem of his mother-in-law.

Frick said he asked the man if he was an undercover cop, but the man said he was just a normal person and said that his help wouldn’t “come cheap.”

Frick said that at that point he wasn’t sure if he wanted this man to have his mother-in-law assaulted or killed. The unknown man gave him instructions via a letter sent to his business, and Frick followed them. He said he wanted the victim “taken care of,” but didn’t specify how. He left the $600 that was asked of him in the envelope, and it was gone the next morning.

Frick said his wife, the victim’s daughter, didn’t know anything about this interaction.

Frick said that the victim kept harassing him and his family even after the letter and payment, so he thought he may have been “jipped” out of the $600. About a week later, he got a phone call at 6:45 a.m. from people he knew that an assault had been reported on the news at his mother-in-law’s farm.

He said that he was initially happy when he heard the news, “but pissed off” that she “still wasn’t dead.”

On May 21 he was charged with aiding and abetting an assault, aiding and abetting a home invasion and aiding and abetting a burglary. He was released on bail after his arraignment, and is next due in court on June 16. At the time, state police said they expected to make further arrests in the case.

 

Frick told police in a follow-up interview that he knew the man he hired and had lied that he was a stranger. He said the man was named Jim and worked as a dishwasher at his restaurant, Stadium Burgers and Brews. Police identified him as James McMahon, 48, and he was arrested at his mother’s home in Southington on Tuesday, May 26.

While McMahon initially denied his involvement, he eventually said that he asked Frick for $1,000 after hearing Frick complain about his mother and said he’d do it. Frick gave him $600 initially, and while McMahon said he planned to just rip Frick off, he got drunk a few days later and decided to follow Frick’s instructions about where his mother-in-law lived and how to get to her.

McMahon said that when he went into the victim’s home he started hitting her with his fists, and she grabbed a metal fireplace poker and began swinging at him. He said he couldn’t remember what happened after that.

When he saw Frick two days later, Frick was angry that his mother-in-law was still alive. McMahon didn’t return to work after that, and it was the last contact the two had.

McMahon was charged with attempt to commit murder, conspiracy to commit assault in the first degree, assault first degree, home invasion and burglary in the first degree. He was arraigned on Monday, and is being held on $1 million bond.

Police say the investigation is continuing and an additional arrest is anticipated.