PROZAC: Not Guilty of Assault Using Prozac Defense: Kansas

Paragraphs nine through twelve read:  “However, he
testified he believed
high dosages of Prozac,
an anti-depressant prescribed to him at the prison and jail, influenced
his behavior.”

“It made him feel like he wanted jump out
of his skin
, he said. Housworth told jurors he never intended to hurt
anyone.”

“During the time he’s spent in youth shelters, jails and
prisons, Housworth said he had nothing but “minor write-ups” until
he began taking Prozac in 40-milligram to 90-milligram
dosages at the local prison and jail.”

“He said he never stopped
taking the drug because he was 70 days shy of parole in June 2007, and then he

signed a parole agreement specifying he would take his
prescribed medications.”

Paragraphs fourteen and fifteen read:
“Dr. Mark Goodman, a local clinical psychologist who evaluated Housworth,
testified for the defense he believed the high dosage
of Prozac prescribed to Housworth at the prison and jail caused his aggressive
behavior.”

“Goodman said the recommended Prozac dosage for an
adult was 20 to 80 milligrams, and he believed the high dosages given to
Housworth, combined with Housworth’s “bipolar features” and “anger
history,” rendered him unable to reason
appropriately.”

http://www.hutchnews.com/Todaystop/trial2009-10-23T20-32-29

Saturday, October 24, 2009    4 : 14 PM

Meds defense a success

Former prisoner acquitted in batteries he blames on
Prozac.

By Darcy Gray The Hutchinson News dgray@hutchnews.com

A former Hutchinson Correctional Facility inmate charged with battering
correctional officers and another inmate told jurors this week “Prozac mania,”
from high dosages of the prescribed drug, caused his aggressive, impulsive
behavior.

The jurors agreed.

Andrew Housworth, 31, was found not

guilty Friday of five counts of battery against a correctional officer and two
counts of aggravated battery of a correctional officer and a fellow inmate.

During his trial this week before Reno County District Judge Tim
Chambers, Housworth admitted to spitting on correctional officers at the prison
and the Reno County jail in 2007.

He admitted to attacking a fellow
inmate at the Reno County jail in April 2008, hitting him and biting his cheek.

Although Housworth was charged with aggravated battery of an HCF officer
in September 2007 for allegedly choking the officer with his belly chain, or
restraint, he denied choking the officer. He told jurors he was first
“clotheslined” and pepper-sprayed by the officer before responding in
self-defense.

His attorney, Alice Osburn, noted there was time missing
from the prison surveillance video during the incident, in which Housworth
claimed he had been beaten.

Housworth also admitted during trial his
criminal history included aggravated assault, criminal threat and attempted
robbery.

However, he testified he believed high dosages of Prozac, an
anti-depressant prescribed to him at the prison and jail, influenced his
behavior.

It made him feel like he wanted jump out of his skin, he said.
Housworth told jurors he never intended to hurt anyone.

During the time
he’s spent in youth shelters, jails and prisons, Housworth said he had nothing
but “minor write-ups” until he began taking Prozac in 40-milligram to
90-milligram dosages at the local prison and jail.

He said he never
stopped taking the drug because he was 70 days shy of parole in June 2007, and
then he signed a parole agreement specifying he would take his prescribed
medications.

Housworth said his concerns about Prozac‘s effects on him
were ignored by local prison and jail staff. After an incident in which he
punched Reno County Jail Capt. Scott Powell in September 2008, Housworth said,
he was transferred to Lyons County jail, where they took him off Prozac in March
and he had not had a problem with officers since.

Dr. Mark Goodman, a
local clinical psychologist who evaluated Housworth, testified for the defense

he believed the high dosage of Prozac prescribed to Housworth at the prison and
jail caused his aggressive behavior.

Goodman said the recommended Prozac
dosage for an adult was 20 to 80 milligrams, and he believed the high dosages
given to Housworth, combined with Housworth’s “bipolar features” and “anger
history,” rendered him unable to reason appropriately.

A doctor at the
Larned State Hospital, however, testified for the prosecution that Housworth had
an anti-social personality and did not lack the mental state necessary to commit
the crimes.

Jurors were asked, regarding each charge, whether they
believed Housworth suffered a mental deficiency due to high dosages of Prozac

that “rendered him incapable” of criminal intent, or intending to commit the
crimes.

As the verdict was announced Friday, jurors announced “yes,”
they believed he suffered from the mental deficiency as to all charges except
for the aggravated battery charge in which Housworth was accused of choking the
prison officer.

Friday’s verdict represents the first time since 2003
such a defense has been successful in winning an acquittal.

In 2003,
Dale McCormick, of Sylvia, was acquitted after a jury decided his alleged bomb
threat at the Reno County Law Enforcement Center was the result of mental
defect, brought on by depression and a dosage change in McCormick’s mood
stabilizer.

In Housworth’s case, the jury foreperson told The News
jurors discussed at length all evidence in the case, including the doctors’
contradicting opinions. Jurors requested a read-back of witness testimony
Thursday night, so they took a break and continued deliberating Friday
morning.

Jurors felt Housworth was open and honest in talking about what
had happened, as well as his criminal history, she said. Housworth was willing
to talk about the incident with Powell, even though it was not charged against
him.

Following the verdict, Chambers ordered Housworth be committed to
the Larned State Hospital until he is no longer a danger.

Osburn
confirmed Housworth is also facing charges in Leavenworth County for battery of

a correctional officer.

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Ann Blake Tracy, Executive Director,
International Coalition for Drug Awareness
(DrugAwareness.Org & SSRIstories.Net)
Author: ”Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? – Our Serotonin Nightmare – The Complete Truth of the Full Impact of Antidepressants Upon Us & Our World” & Withdrawal CD “Help! I Can’t Get Off My Antidepressant!”

She has specialized since 1990 in adverse reactions to serotonergic medications (such as Prozac, Sarafem, Zoloft, Paxil, Luvox, Celexa, Lexapro, Effexor, Serzone, Remeron, Anafranil, Fen-Phen, Redux and Meridia as well as the new atypical antipsychotics Zyprexa, Geodon, Seroquel and Abilify), as well as pain killers, and has testified before the FDA and congressional subcommittee members on antidepressants.

WITHDRAWAL WARNING: In sharing this information about adverse reactions to antidepressants I always recommend that you also give reference to my CD on safe withdrawal, Help! I Can’t Get Off My Antidepressant!, so that we do not have more people dropping off these drugs too quickly – a move which I have warned from the beginning can be even more dangerous than staying on the drugs!

WITHDRAWAL HELP: You can find the hour and a half long CD on safe and effective withdrawal helps here: store.drugawareness.org And if you need additional consultations with Ann Blake-Tracy, you can book one at www.drugawareness.org or sign up for one of the memberships for the International Coalition for Drug Awareness which includes free consultations as one of the benefits of that particular membership plan. You can even get a whole month of access to the withdrawal CD with tips on rebuilding after the meds, all six of my DVDs, hundreds of radio interviews, lectures, TV interviews I have done over the years PLUS my book on antidepressants with more information than you will find anywhere else for only $30 membership for a month (that is only $5 more than the book alone would cost) at www.drugawareness.org. (Definitely the best option to save outrageous postage charges for those out of the country!)

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