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The Boston Herald
By Dave Wedge
Wednesday, May 19, 2004
A Sharon double killer whose 1999 insanity bid was rejected claims he was “involuntarily intoxicated” by Zoloft and turned homicidal because of the anti-depressant’s “toxic” effects.
Richard Shuman, who is serving a life sentence for the 1997 murders of his business partners, Jack Badler and Howard Librot, claims Zoloft prescribed to him eight days before the killings sent him into a “severe drug-induced agitation” called akathisia.
The condition, marked by explosive violence and suicidal tendencies, gained widespread publicity in 2000. Shuman claims he should get a new trial based on “important new research specifically linking Zoloft” to akathisia. Dedham Superior Court Judge Margaret Botsford last week denied his motion for a new trial.
Shuman, 55, reportedly fell into a deep depression because of work woes and was put on Zoloft after attempting suicide. On Aug. 5, 1997, he shot Badler, 50, at a Stoughton office, drove a mile and then fatally shot Librot, 60.
“I think Richard Shuman is a very, very decent individual and was a wonderful family man,” his trial attorney, Kevin Reddington, said. “I think that a lot of the grief from that case lies at the foot of the doctor who prescribed him that medication.”