Zoloft Verdict Delivered — (Gadsden Times)

SSRI Ed note: Man takes Zoloft for depression, kills his wife, charged with murder, jury believes the drug was responsible for the violence.

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The Gadsden Times


March 14, 1994

A Jefferson county jury found a man accused of killing his wife innocent by reason of mental disease or defect.

Michael Dick did not dispute killing his wife, Dorothy, 26, but his lawyers argued he was suffering psychotic side-effects from the anti-depressant drug Zoloft when he strangled her in March, 1994.

The Jury verdict was returned Thursday. Dick was released after a hearing to determine whether he still posed a risk.

“He was certainly a danger to his wife,” said prosecutor Mike Anderson.

Dick had just started taking an anti-depressant Zoloft to combat a severe bout of clinical depression weeks before killing Mrs. Dick, prosecutors said.

“Apparently the jury felt he took the pills and the pills did it to him,” Anderson said.

Defense attorney Richard Jaffe put on a psychiatrist who testified about the depression that Dick was suffering and about the possible adverse side-effects of the drug.

“While this drug is widely prescribed and a safe one, there can be some psychotic reactions to the drug.  He had the classic symptoms of an adverse reaction” Jaffe said.

Compiled From Wire Reports