ANTIDEPRESSANT, COCAINE, DEPAKOTE: Man Kills Mother, 2 Small Children, & Dog

On the morning of May 12, 2008,
Covington was admitted to University Community Hospital for a drug overdose. Tests showed he
had taken cocaine, acetaminophen and salicylate, another anti-inflammatory drug
used for mild to moderate pain, the defense filing states. Doctors also found
tricyclics, which is an antidepressant, and valproic acid, a drug used for
seizures and migraines.

The defense says a psychiatrist who
examined Covington for the case will testify that Covington’s bipolar disorder,
combined with the drugs in his system, rendered him mentally incapable of
forming the intent to commit first-degree murder.

Mental health defense pursued

By ELAINE
SILVESTRINI

esilvestrini@tampatrib.com

Published: February 2, 2010

TAMPA – A man charged with killing
and mutilating his girlfriend and her two children should not face the death
penalty because he was mentally incapable of intending to commit first-degree
murder, his attorneys say.

Lisa Freiberg and her children,
Heather Savannah, 2, and Zachary, 7, were found slain inside their Lutz mobile
home in 2008. The
family dog was also killed.

The deaths were so grisly that
investigators could not identify the bodies by looking at them.

Authorities say Edward Covington was
found huddled in a closet in the mobile home with blood on his hands, feet and
back.

The killings took place between 6
and 11 a.m. May 11, 2008, and it appeared Covington had stayed in the home
overnight, investigators say. He told detectives he killed Freiberg and her
children, according to court records.

Covington’s public
defenders
are asking a judge to allow them to
present evidence at trial about his mental condition at the time of the killings
and his mental health history, which they say dates to when he was
15.

A defense court filing says
Covington, 37, does not intend to use an insanity defense, which would be aimed
at seeking a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity. Rather, the defense
hopes to persuade jurors to convict Covington of the lesser offense of
second-degree murder, making him ineligible for the death penalty.

Covington, his attorneys say, has
been diagnosed with bipolar disorder; a therapist who examined Covington in
2005, when he was working as a state corrections officer, described “classic
symptoms of rage and anger, and episodes of severe depression.”

On the morning of May 12, 2008,
Covington was admitted to
University Community Hospital for a drug overdose. Tests showed he
had taken cocaine, acetaminophen and salicylate, another anti-inflammatory drug
used for mild to moderate pain, the defense filing states. Doctors also found
tricyclics, which is an antidepressant, and valproic acid, a drug used for
seizures and migraines.

The defense says a psychiatrist who
examined Covington for the case will testify that Covington’s bipolar disorder,
combined with the drugs in his system, rendered him mentally incapable of
forming the intent to commit first-degree murder.

The charges against Covington
include three counts of first-degree murder, three counts of abuse of a dead
human body and one count of felony animal cruelty. Prosecutors are seeking the
death penalty.

Covington is being held without
bail.

According to the defense filing,
Covington tried to shoot himself in the head and was hospitalized under the
state’s Baker Act when he was 16. The next year, he overdosed on
drugs

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A Nurse's Nightmare on Xanax and Paxil

“In just 3 days I began going crazy.”

 

I’m a 31 year old female (and a registered nurse) I have 2 young children, recently I went through a lot of loss in my life. My mother in law battling her second brain tumor, and I cared for my grand father in his home until his death. During this time I became very anxious and started having some neurological symptoms of twitching and fatigue. My physician suggested I get to see a neurologist to rule out MS. That was the day I had my first panic attack (seems mild to me now.)

I then realized I could not see a neurologist for over 2 months. The anxiety intensified, my MD prescribed Xanax and Paxil. The first day I only required a 1/2 of a .25mg of Xanax. but by day 3 on Paxil I was taking 2 whole tabs of Xanax with no relief. In just 3 days I began going crazy. I had my husband take me to the hospital. I was not sleeping, eating, I was very dizzy. I had tingling, burning, numbness all over my body, headaches, and strange tremors and electrical sensations. Many of these symptoms mimic the symptoms of MS.

I went through the whole battery of tests, all negative. It was not until day 7 of Paxil that I realized that the majority of my symptoms were directly related to the Paxil. I weaned myself over 3 days, (only on it for 7 days before) It has only been 8 days now, I am feeling about 50% better. Every morning I wake up and go for my morning walk (3 miles) It takes so much out of me, but I know it is important. When I come home I have to prepare myself for the long day of taking care of my children. I am trying to stay busy and surround myself with a lot of very supportive people. At this point my three biggest complaints are dizziness, extreme fatigue, and inability to sleep. I just wanted to know if my story sounds familiar, (I had no mental health history before 3 weeks ago!) I just have to keep thinking that I will be better someday. Thanks for your support. My love and prayers to all of you suffering.

Jenny
nikdelicious@hotmail.com

8/6/2001

This is Survivor Story number 27.
Total number of stories in current database is 34

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