Lanno Takes Stand In His Kidnapping Trial – Defendant Tells Jury Antidepressants May Be To Blame For Actions July 13 — (The Syracuse Post-Standard)

SSRI Ed note: Man on Zoloft starts to behave strangely, becomes manic, kidnaps is wife, is abusive, cannot remember the incident after. He blames the med.

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The Syracuse Post-Standard (NY)

June 30, 2005

Author: Sapna Kollali Staff writer

Patrick Lanno told a Madison County jury Wednesday that he could not remember much of an evening last summer during which he allegedly kidnapped and threatened his wife, and he believes antidepressant medication he was taking could be at fault.

Lanno, 46, was arrested July 13 in Canastota after his wife, Michele Lanno, called 911 from a McDonald’s restaurant. The two had been driving together for several hours, when Michele Lanno convinced her husband to let her drive them back to Syracuse and then ran for help, she said Tuesday.

He has been on trial since Tuesday, facing charges of felony kidnapping, grand larceny and two counts of criminal contempt.

Lanno said he picked up his wife around 5:30 p.m. and the two of them got gas.

“I don’t remember much after I got gas,” he said. “She told me I struck her, that I pulled her hair, that I made these threats to her. I remember telling her I didn’t have a gun.”

Lanno said his wife told him while they were at the Canastota McDonald’s that she suggested going back to St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center, where he had been diagnosed several weeks earlier with “deep depression” and received a prescription for Zoloft.

“I didn’t want to go back,” he said. “I believed they were the ones that screwed me up.”

Lanno testified that he had not been himself since he began taking Zoloft. Earlier Wednesday, Lanno’s mother and ex-wife also testified that Lanno had been acting strange.

A few days after Lanno’s July 13 arrest, he was sent to Central New York Psychiatric Center for an evaluation with psychiatrist Jean Liu. Liu testified Wednesday that she diagnosed Lanno with bipolar disorder type 1, a condition that causes a person to experience manic and depressive states simultaneously.

“You’re still depressed but you’re irritable, agitated, you have energy but you don’t know how to deal with it,” she said. During manic phases, she said, behavior “is totally uncharacteristic of what that person would normally do.”

During cross-examination, Patrick Lanno admitted that he has a history of lying to his wife, particularly about his health and medical conditions. He said he had lied to Michele Lanno about having and receiving treatment for cancer when neither were true.

Testimony continues at 9:30 a.m. today before Judge Dennis McDermott, who expects the jury to begin deliberations today.

Record Number: 0506300267
Copyright, 2005, The Herald Company