A Family’s Portrait of Love and Loss — (Democrat and Chronicle)

SSRI Ed note: Man on Paxil kills his wife, one daughter, attempts to kill second daughter.

Original article no longer available

Democrat and Chronicle

April 26, 2005

A Greece man pleaded not guilty today to charges that he killed his wife and daughter and seriously injured another daughter in their home.

David M. Zacher, 35, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of 34-year-old Karelin J. Zacher and 4-year-old Halle J. Zacher, and first-degree assault in the wounding of 2-year-old Elizabeth H. “Libby” Zacher.

An indictment alleges that Zacher stabbed his wife and daughters April 8 in their home on Cameron Hill Drive.

State Supreme Court Justice Joseph D. Valentino ordered Zacher held without bail in the Monroe County Jail after Zacher’s lawyer, John R. Parrinello, reserved his right to apply for bail at a later time.

Parrinello raised the possibility of several defenses, including:

Self-defense. During the attack, Zacher suffered wounds to two fingers on his right hand. The wounds could be construed as defense wounds, Parrinello said.

Insanity. Parrinello has hired a forensic psychiatrist to examine Zacher and determine whether he was incapacitated by mental disease or defect.

Prescription drug use. Zacher was taking the antidepressant Paxil, which a British study has claimed can cause an increase in suicidal thoughts among new users.
Parrinello, however, said it’s too early to say whether any of those defenses would be used.

Assistant District Attorney Douglas A. Randall turned over 14 pages of documents that outline alleged statements made by Zacher to law enforcement officers after the attack. The nature of the statements haven’t been disclosed.

Valentino ordered them sealed after Parrinello said he may challenge whether the statements can be used in Zacher’s trial.

Valentino also signed an order of protection barring Zacher from having any contact with Elizabeth, who is now three and was hospitalized for six days, and her 7-year-old brother Tyler, who allegedly witnessed the attack then ran to the nearby home of an uncle for help.

District Attorney Michael C. Green said he doesn’t know if Tyler will be called as a witness, if the case goes to trial.

“We’ll have to spend a lot of time with this prospective witness and decide whether it would help the case or whether it would cause potential harm to the witness,” Green said.


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David Zacher Guilty On All Counts — (Officer.com)



A verdict has been reached in the David Zacher murder trail.

Jurors have found the Greece man guilty on all three counts. He was charged with two counts of first degree murder and one count of first degree assault.

Jurors reached that verdict Saturday afternoon after 11 hours of deliberating.

Zacher was accused of stabbing his wife Karelin and their four-year-old daughter, Halle, to death. He was also accused of injuring their other daughter, two-year-old Libby. The attack happened at the couple's Cameron Hill Drive home on April 8, 2005.

Zacher's mental state the night of the attack was the main part of the defense's case, but the jury ruled Zacher was not insane the night of the attack.

Zacher faces a sentence of life in prison without parole when sentenced on April 26, 2006.