2006_02_staypuft.jpgWhen you're 20 years old and on the hook for killing a woman while trying to rob her, it seems the only thing to do is to play crazy. Or that what a psychiatrist says Rudy Fleming, who at 19 shot Nicole duFresne on a Lower East Side corner last year during a botched robbery, is doing. Fleming had been claiming that he saw a "Marshmallow Man", a black-and-white cat, and a red-colored man, as well as hearing voices. Bellevue's Dr. Steven Ciric said, given the facts that Fleming has changed what the marshmallow man looks like, that he's gained eight pounds while in custody, and since he gives "grossly exaggerated" answers to questions, Fleming is faking it. Fleming's lawyer is claiming that his client suffers from borderline mental retardation. All Gothamist knows is that when this goes to trial, it's going to be brutal.

Police contend Fleming shot duFresne, an aspiring actress who had been bartending in the area and was walking home with her fiance and friends, when she refused to let him steal her bag. Fleming's friends, who were also arrested in the murder, claimed that Fleming's gun "went off."