"Court heard evidence the accused was prescribed Prozac three months prior to the September 2009 killing. Some studies have linked Prozac with behavioural and emotional changes in users under 18."
"According to court documents, the teen's parents complained his condition was "deteriorating" while taking Prozac. Their doctor responded by increasing the dosage."
Teen says Prozac made him kill friend
Dean Pritchard, QMI Agency
First posted: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 8:40:37 EDT PM
WINNIPEG – A teen who admits fatally stabbing his 15-year-old friend is arguing the killing was sparked by his use of the anti-depressant Prozac.
The now 18-year-old accused pleaded guilty last October to second-degree murder. A hearing began Tuesday to determine whether the accused will be sentenced as a youth or an adult.
Court heard evidence the accused was prescribed Prozac three months prior to the September 2009 killing. Some studies have linked Prozac with behavioural and emotional changes in users under 18.
According to court documents, the teen's parents complained his condition was "deteriorating" while taking Prozac. Their doctor responded by increasing the dosage.
The accused was later weaned off the drug at his own request while in custody at the Manitoba Youth Centre, psychiatrist Dr. Keith Hildahl told court.
Hildahl said the teen has never provided him an explanation for the attack.
"He either doesn't want to tell me what happened or he doesn't have an explanation and that is quite worrying," Hildahl said.
"He said he felt bad but if you looked at his demeanour, there was nothing to indicate he felt anything of the sort."
The victim died after suffering a single stab wound to the chest. Court heard the accused stabbed the victim after learning he had damaged the hardwood floor of his parent's West St. Paul home.
The victim and another teen — both friends of the accused — had been at the accused boy's home earlier in the day, when they were involved in a minor dispute with the boy's younger brother. The victim shoved the accused's brother, causing a chair to overturn and dent the hardwood floor.
The accused, who was not home at the time, learned about the incident later that day and invited the teens to return to the house and "hang out," court was told.
The three friends were sitting in the garage talking when the accused reached under a blanket and pulled out a knife.
"I told him it wasn't cool and to put it away," the third boy later told police. "(He) got this weird look in his face for a couple of seconds and that's when it happened. He just went and stabbed (the victim)."
The victim's mother called the accused a "cowardly murderer" who led her son to slaughter.
"I would rather be the mother of a murdered son than the mother of a murderer because I could never look upon my son's face again without that vile evil manifesting itself," she told court.