LEXAPRO: Murder: Defense of Involuntary Intoxication: Louisiana

First two paragraphs read:  “A Baton Rouge man is not
criminally responsible for the murder of his ex-fiancée and attempted murder of
one of her neighbors in 2008 because he was involuntarily intoxicated at the
time,
one of his attorneys told a jury Wednesday.”

Defense lawyer
Tommy Damico argued in his opening statement that Frederick Dominique Reed
Jr. had a violent reaction to the prescribed anti-depressant

Lexapro, which he began taking in early August
2008.”

http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/82864837.html?showAll=y&c=y

Murder trial defense: Intoxication

  • By JOE GYAN JR.
  • Advocate staff writer
  • Published: Jan 28, 2010 – Page: 2B

A Baton Rouge man is not
criminally responsible for the murder of his ex-fiancée and attempted murder of

one of her neighbors in 2008 because he was involuntarily intoxicated at the
time, one of his attorneys told a jury Wednesday.

Defense lawyer Tommy
Damico argued in his opening statement that Frederick Dominique Reed Jr. had a
violent reaction to the prescribed anti-depressant Lexapro, which he began
taking in early August 2008.

But a prosecutor countered that Reed was
“very calculated’’ in hunting down Mia Reid and shooting her at her
Scotlandville apartment while she slept next to her 10-year-old daughter on Aug.
23, 2008.

Assistant District Attorney Melissa Morvant also noted in her
opening statement that Reid’s request for a temporary restraining order against
Reed was denied Aug. 12, 2008, and that a hearing on a permanent protective
order was to be held Aug. 26, 2008.

East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s
deputies arrested Reed on a count of domestic abuse battery in March 2008, but
Reid dropped the complaint, her temporary restraining order petition
stated.

At the end of July 2008, Reid and her daughter moved out of an
apartment near Siegen Lane that they shared with Reed to a new apartment in
north Baton Rouge, friends and relatives have said.

Reed, 39, is charged
with second-degree murder in the killing of Reid, 31, and attempted
second-degree murder in the wounding of Richard Kuti.

A second-degree

murder conviction carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison.

State
District Judge Tony Marabella is presiding over the trial, which will resume
today.

Morvant told jurors that Reed first entered apartment 23 at the
Ashley Oak complex on Rosenwald Road and shot Kuti three times while he slept,
then went to apartment 33 and shot Reid.

“While Mia Reid is sleeping on
an air mattress with her 10-year-old daughter, he shoots her twice,’’ Morvant
said.

Later, as authorities closed in on him on Villa Drive, Reed tried
to commit suicide by shooting himself in the chest, she said.

Kuti and
his roommate, Courvasier Jones, testified they did not know Reed or Reid. Jones
said he heard shots and Reed appeared in his room asking for Reid. He said he
told Reed that he did not know Reid or where she was, and Reed
left.

“When I was wrapping up his (Kuti’s) arm with an Ace bandage, I
heard more shots,’’ Jones testified.

Meghan Green, who said Reid was her
best friend, testified she raced to Reid’s apartment complex after Reid’s
daughter called her.

“When (she) jumped into my arms, she had Mia’s
bloody cell phone,’’ Green testified.

Damico asked the jury to “keep an
open mind’’ and not have an “emotional or gut reaction’’ to the tragic events
that he argued were “not the legal fault’’ of his client.

“This is not a
case about who did it or how it was done,’’ he said. “It is about why it
happened and what caused it.’’

Damico added that Reed’s involuntary

intoxication was the “direct cause’’ of the shootings.

“The drug did not
interact with Frederick Reed as it was prescribed to do,’’ he said. “Some people
are affected in very dangerous ways.’’

“But for the involuntary
intoxication, Frederick Reed would not have committed these acts,’’ he
added.

Louisiana law says an offender is exempt from criminal
responsibility if intoxication is involuntary and the circumstances indicate the
condition was the direct cause of the commission of the
crime.

563 total views, no views today

ZOLOFT: Violent Behavior in Young Girl: USA CNN

First two sentences read: “My daughter was treated for anxiety with Zoloft around a year ago. However, her school reported alarming, violent behavior (she never had that before), and we stopped it after only a week.”

http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/expert.q.a/08/18/zoloft.adverse.effects.raison/

Is my daughter’s violent reaction to a drug an allergy?

Asked by Sharon, USA

My daughter was treated for anxiety with Zoloft around a year ago. However, her school reported alarming, violent behavior (she never had that before), and we stopped it after only a week. I always understood this to be an “adverse effect,” but a nurse today told me it was an allergy. An allergy means she should never take it again, but an adverse effect could be grown out of, and doesn’t rule out similar drugs. Was the nurse just dumbing things down, or was she correct?

Mental Health Expert Dr. Charles Raison Psychiatrist,
Emory University Medical School

Expert answer

Dear Sharon,

The nurse may have been trying to “dumb it down” as you say, but she was not correct. We’ll talk about bad reactions to antidepressants in a moment, but let’s talk about allergies first. An allergy is a very specific type of reaction that is caused by an arm of the immune system often referred to as Th2. Allergies can be mild or extremely serious, but whatever their intensity, what they share in common is that the immune system is needlessly going into overdrive in response to something that is not really dangerous.

Because allergies are a type of inflammatory response, their symptoms tend to be fairly stereotyped: itching, redness, swelling, runny nose and eyes, hives and shortness of breath (from airway swelling) when severe. When one takes a medication and has this type of reaction, that is an allergic response to the medicine. While all medications can cause an allergic reaction, some (for complicated reasons) are much more likely to do this than others. The classic example is penicillin, to which many people are allergic. Antidepressants have a very low likelihood of inducing an allergic response.

OK, that’s the scoop on allergies. So your daughter didn’t have an allergic response, but she did have a serious side effect to the Zoloft and one that is not uncommon. In fact, behavioral agitation –while not as common as other side effects such as loss of sexual function or stomach upset — is one of the most worrisome reactions elicited by antidepressants. One reason why you don’t want your doctor to start you on an antidepressant and tell you to “come back in six weeks” is that he or she should be on much closer lookout to make sure that you don’t develop severe anxiety or agitation in the first week or two of treatment.

Psychiatrists have debated endlessly about what causes antidepressant-induced agitation. There are probably several explanations, with each being true for individual patients. There is evidence that the acute effects of antidepressants can directly cause agitation in some people. There is also evidence that many people who get agitated may have, or be at risk for, having bipolar disorder (i.e. manic depression). We have known for years that many bipolar patients will have a first manic or hypomanic episode in response to being placed on an antidepressant. That is why I always tell patients to call me immediately if they start feeling too happy or too jazzed up too quickly, as that can be a sign of developing mania. Mania can also manifest as extreme agitation or irritability, especially in children and adolescents.

I am not suggesting that your daughter has a bipolar condition. I noticed that you chose the topic “autism” when you submitted your question. If your daughter has an autistic disorder, this might also put her at increased risk of having a bad reaction to an antidepressant.

I do not think your daughter needs to avoid all antidepressants forever, because each of these agents is different. Frequently, someone who can’t tolerate one antidepressant does just fine on another. But it goes without saying that I would certainly be cautious if you elect to try another antidepressant with your daughter. You might think about doing it during a break from school so that you can watch her closely and also so that if the agitation happens again, she won’t be in a place where it might affect her social relationships outside the family.

Finally, as the director of my residency program told me years ago, “Any medication that actually works will have side effects.” I’ve never forgotten that.

456 total views, no views today