SSRI Stories Note: The Physicians Desk Reference states that antidepressants can cause a craving for alcohol and alcohol abuse. Also, the liver cannot metabolize the antidepressant and the alcohol simultaneously, thus leading to higher levels of both alcohol and the antidepressant in the human body.
Supreme court denies request for a new murder trial for deputy's son
by Morris News Service
ATLANTA — The Georgia Supreme Court ruled Monday that the son of a Glynn County deputy has no right to a second murder trial.
A lawyer for Jason William Futch had asked the court to overturn his murder conviction and life sentence and to grant a new trial because his attorney at his three-day 2004 trial was not competent. Futch was convicted of firing a shotgun through a closed door and killing Michael Weaver of Macon.
The state's top court issued its decision on what would have been Weaver's 27th birthday.
Both Futch and Weaver were college students in 2003 when Weaver and other friends of Futch's roommate spent the night in Futch's Atlanta apartment. During roughhousing with Weaver, Futch lost his temper, went into his bedroom and got a shotgun his father had given him, according to trial witnesses.
During last year's appeal, Futch's lawyer, John Martin, argued that the trial attorney, Richard Hagler, should have investigated how the alcohol Futch drank interacted with his medication for depression and for a misdiagnosis of attention-deficit disorder by making him more aggressive. If Hagler had researched Futch's medical history more, the judge might have let him tell the jury what was going on in Futch's body and won a manslaughter conviction instead of murder, Martin told the seven justices.
Monday, Justice Harris Hines wrote that there was no way Hagler could have known of the misdiagnosis because neither Futch nor his family knew about it at the time of the trial.
"Under these circumstances, it cannot be said that trial counsel's acceptance of the medical diagnosis made by Futch's own doctor constitutes a professional deficiency, that is, that it was outside the range of professional conduct," Hines wrote.