Drug an issue in Craven trial — (The Kentucky Enquirer)

Original article no longer available

The Kentucky Enquirer (Ft. Mitchell, KY)

November 16, 2002

Author: Jim Hannah, STAFF

The Cincinnati Enquirer

LEXINGTON – Russell “Rusty” McIntire described himself as tense, depressed and drinking heavily in the weeks leading up to his participation in the killing of Delta Air Lines pilot Stephen Craven.

The 34-year-old made these remarks and others during a late-night hearing before Kenton Circuit Judge Patricia Summe this week in Lexington.

“I was drinking heavily,” the former airport baggage handler said. “I was drinking 24 hours a day. I was driving around drunk.”

The judge called the hearing to ask Mr. McIntire whether he felt any adverse symptoms, which could have clouded his judgment, when he stopped taking the antidepressant medication Paxil.

Attorneys representing Adele Craven want to present the jury with evidence that stopping Paxil “cold turkey” while drinking heavily can cause flu-like symptoms, confusion and hallucinations.

Ms. Craven is being tried on a murder charge for conspiring to kill her husband. Mr. McIntire, her former lover, agreed to testify against her in exchange for life in prison without the possibility of parole for 25 years. If Ms. Craven is found guilty, she could be sentenced to death.

Mr. McIntire said he didn’t feel his judgment was clouded from stopping the drug. But he said he was drinking up to 12 beers a day when he stopped taking the drug without his doctor’s knowledge.

The request to submit evidence about Paxil appears to be part of the defense’s overall strategy to show that Mr. McIntire was out of control – a jealous, enraged lover who acted alone in hiring a hit man and ordering Mr. Craven killed.

The third week of Ms. Craven’s trial concluded Fridaywith the defense calling lab technicians to describe how they analyzed blood, footprints and other evidence collected at the crime scene.

Testimony will continue on Monday.

E-mail jhannah@enquirer.com

Record Number: cin2002112021340130