Court documents reveal incidents leading up to Lehi murder — (Eyewitness News)

SSRI Ed note: Man prescribed stimulant, steroids in increasing doses, Valium, 2 antidepressants including Paxil, shoots and kills wife. Experts doubt drugs played a role.

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Eyewitness News

January 7th, 2008 

Tonya Papanikolas and Tom Callan reporting

A day after police say a Lehi man shot his wife in a church parking lot, we’re finding out more about the woman who was shot, what happened at the church, and the suspect’s past.

Eyewitness News found out today that Kristy Ragsdale was shot multiple times in the torso and at least once in the head. One witness claimed David Ragsdale stood directly over his wife and fired while Kristy’s mom watched.

After the shooting, court papers say David told several people what he did and arranged to turn himself in. Police later found a loaded Glock 9mm handgun in his car.

All day long, Kristy’s neighbors tied pink ribbons up and down her street. They said it was as much a healing for them as it was a tribute to her. Kristy’s friends also brought flowers to the house in remembrance of a woman they say was always concerned about her friends, even when she was going through her own tough times.

Court documents reveal a little about those times. On Dec. 4, Kristy requested a protective order against her husband, detailing verbal aggression that took place the night before in front of their two children. Kristy wrote that David “came in screaming profanities and telling us to get out of HIS house.”

She claims he tried to turn the children out and later came at her very aggressively. Later when his brother and sister arrived at the house, Kristy writes David told them “he had his gun in the car and that he could use that to take care of things, and referred to his gun more than once.”

She writes, “I feel very unsafe for myself and for my sons. I’m not sure how mentally stable he is right now.” Another court document reveals David was on two anti-depressant medications.

Neighbors told us they knew things had been escalating between the couple as they were going through their divorce but say they never thought he was capable of doing something like this.

Friends told Eyewitness News that Kristy was a great mother and an intelligent, caring woman who was always smiling and loved to have fun. They also said she was very strong and determined. “Kristy’s going to be extremely missed. She was a sparkling star to all of us here. She had an incredible personality,” friend Nicole Barton said.

David Ragsdale has been charged with aggravated capital murder, a crime that can carry the death penalty.

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Lawsuit alleges prescription drugs were factor in Kristy Ragsdale murder: It blames clinic for upping David Ragsdale’s dosages — (Deseret News

By Lana Groves, Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, April 20 2010

ALT LAKE CITY — Her grandson’s nightmares are finally gone, but Ann Palizzi still lays awake some nights thinking about her daughter’s murder.

Palizzi had a bad feeling leading up to Jan. 6, 2008 — her daughter Kristy Ragsdale’s 30th birthday — but never did she think her daughter’s husband would pull up to a church parking lot in Lehi and shoot her daughter 13 times, killing her.

The memories are back now that a lawsuit was filed Monday against Pioneer Comprehensive Medical Clinic and a doctor and nurse working there. The suit alleges the steroids and drugs prescribed for and taken by convicted murderer David Ragsdale were a factor in the slaying.

The lawsuit was filed by court-appointed representative William Jeffs on behalf of the Ragsdales’ now 6- and 3-year-old sons.

It alleges that family nurse practitioner Trina West, who worked at the Draper clinic, 12433 Fort St., began prescribing two of what would become several medications on April 16, 2007: two powerful steroids called testosterone and pregnenolone, which are listed as schedule III controlled substances. On May 2, West increased David Ragsdale’s doses of both drugs.

The lawsuit states that in each instance, West did not consult the physician over her, Dr. Hugo Rodier, or any other medical doctor about placing Ragsdale on the drugs or increasing the dosages.

On July 9, 2007, the lawsuit alleges, West added Concerta, a psychostimulant drug known as methylphenidate that has similar risks associated with methamphetamine, to the drugs Ragsdale was taking.

West allegedly diagnosed Ragsdale with attention deficit disorder to justify the prescription for Concerta, the suit states.

On Sept. 5, the dosage of Concerta was doubled from 36 milligrams to 72 mg per day.

Just a few months later, on Dec. 20, Kristy Ragsdale obtained a restraining order against David Ragsdale, the day before he returned to the Draper clinic, and according to the lawsuit, was experiencing “toxic side effects from the combination of his prescribed medications.”

Besides Concerta at 54 mg daily and the two steroids Pregnenolone at 600 mg daily and Testosterone at 200 mg weekly, Ragsdale was also taking the tranquilizer Valium at 5 mg daily, anti depressants Doxepin at 100 mg and Paxil at 40 mg daily. He was also taking a hair-loss medication, Propecia, at 1 mg daily.

Blood toxicology reports showed Ragsdale was within the prescribed ranges of all his medications and found no traces of any illicit substances at the time of the shooting.

During the sentencing in which David Ragsdale pleaded guilty to aggravated murder, a capital offense that was amended to a first-degree felony on June 2, 2008, he said he believed the drugs he was taking played a part in the Jan. 6 incident when he “snapped.”

“I want you to know that I am confident I would not have taken Kristy’s life had I not been on the medications I was on, but that being said, I take full responsibility for my actions,” he said at his sentencing.

Ragsdale had also been charged with two counts of third-degree felony domestic violence in the presence of a child, which were later dismissed.

Utah County Prosecutor Craig Johnson said during the case that prosecutors consulted several experts about how serious an impairment a “cocktail of numerous medications” could cause and whether it would mitigate Ragsdale’s criminal intent to shoot his wife.

“We didn’t find that any of that evidence rose to a level of reasonable doubt,” Johnson said.

The lawsuit claims that West was negligent in not consulting with a medical doctor in prescribing and increasing dosages of the medications and for keeping Ragsdale on the medications despite signs of toxicity. Rodier and the Draper clinic are also named in the suit. The plaintiffs request general and special damages, and punitive damages in an amount to be determined at trial.