Heavily medicated teen shoots, kills step-mom — (The Lahontan Valley News)

SSRI Ed note: Teen on Prozac, Trazodone and Topamax shoots her step-mother in the head, killing her. Another young life destroyed by psych meds.

Original article no longer available

The Lahontan Valley News

MARLENE GARCIA, mgarcia@lahontanvalleynews.com
March 18, 2007

Three prescriptions for anti-depressant medication were found at a home where a Fallon teen allegedly shot and killed her step-mother March 5, according to court documents.

The Churchill County Sheriff’s Office seized prescription bottles when deputies served a search warrant at two homes on the Schurz Highway the day of the alleged homicide.

Joanna Plants, 17, is accused of killing Ginger Plants, 42, after an argument with her parents over caring for animals.

Investigators discovered a plastic bag labeled “Joanna’s meds,” containing prescription bottles at the Plants home at 2350 Schurz Highway.

A court document outlining items seized when the search warrant was served states an empty bottle labeled Fluoxetine, which is the generic name for Prozac, was found at the murder scene. The 30-count bottle was filled on Feb. 2 and empty.

Two other medications were purchased the same day – Topamax, an anti-convulsant also used to treat mood disorders, and Trazodone, an anti-depressant. The 60-count Topamax bottle was empty and the 30-count Trazodone had 12 pills remaining.

It is not clear from court records who was taking the medicine. Sheriff Richard Ingram could not be immediately reached to clarify the subject.

The suspected murder weapon, a Taurus, .38-caliber semi-automatic pistol was recovered from 2300 Schurz Highway, a neighbor’s house where Joanna Plants was reportedly living at the time.

The court document states a partial box of bullets was found on the kitchen table and in the passenger seat of a Ford van.

According to the sheriff’s department and court records, Joanna Plants was living with Tiffany Adsit and dating her son. The gun used in the alleged murder came from the Adsit home.

After Ginger Plants was shot in the head, the teen asked Adsit for a ride to the Country Church on Crook Road. During the trip, the suspect reportedly made comments to Adsit about the shooting and harming herself. Adsit convinced Joanna Plants to leave the gun in the vehicle before driving home where she called an inmate in the Churchill County Jail about the alleged shooting.

The inmate told detention deputies, and investigators found Ginger Plants dead inside the home.

Joanna Plants was reportedly found hiding in tall weeds on the church property. She is charged with open murder with the use of a firearm, first degree murder with the use of a firearm and being a known drug user in possession of a firearm. She is being held in the Churchill County Jail in lieu of $1 million bail.

This week, District Judge Leon Aberasturi granted a defense request for a competency evaluation of the teen. She will be examined at Lake’s Crossing in Sparks to determine if she is able to understand the charges filed against here and capable of assisting her attorney in her defense.

Gunshot residue tests were taken from Joanna Plants, her father, Adsit and Lawrence Lee, an employee who was at the Plants home the morning of the shooting.

Sheriff’s deputies also seized the teen’s clothing, a urine sample to check for drugs and blood samples.

A cell phone was taken from the Adsit home, along with a white sweater.

If Joanna Plants is deemed competent in the case, it will be sent back to justice court for a preliminary hearing. If she is determined not competent, she could be treated until competency is reached.