Utah murder appeal defense gets OK for antidepressant investigation — (Standard-Examiner)

SSRI Ed note: Man taking Effexor for "bipolar disorder" murders his wife, is tried and convicted, wins appeal for consideration of role of medication.

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Loretta Park, Standard-Examiner staff

Jan 23 2014 – 2:08pm

FARMINGTON — A judge signed orders Thursday to allow the defense in a murder appeals case to hire an investigator and a specialist.

David Edward Drommond, Jr., 37, Bountiful, appeared before Judge Robert Dale in 2nd District Court with his attorney Scott Wiggins. Drommond is serving a life sentence without parole at the Utah State Prison for aggravated murder in connection with the 2005 death of his ex-wife, Janeil Bradley.

Another hearing is set for Feb. 6 when attorneys will decide what day in May they will have an evidentiary hearing based on what the investigator and a specialist will determine after they go over the evidence in the 9-year-old case.

The Utah Supreme Court remanded the case back to the district court in July 2012  asking the judge to make a ruling on two issues, according to court documents. The first one is on whether Drommond suffered any adverse effects from Effexor, a prescription medication he was taking for a bipolar disorder. The second issue is to determine if his trial attorney provided “ineffective counsel” when he did not “investigate and present expert testimony regarding the possible effects of Effexor” on Drommond’s bipolar disorder.

The state Supreme Court justices heard arguments in April 2012 concerning Drommond’s mental illnesses. Wiggins said at the April hearing the jurors who decided that Drommond should spend the rest of his life in prison should have heard about Effexor.

Drommond shot Bradley when she dropped off their two children, ages 2 and 3 at the time, for a court-ordered visitation Aug. 28, 2005. Her father, Reid Bradley, also was shot.

Drommond pleaded guilty to aggravated murder Dec. 17, 2007, after prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty. In 2008, a 12-member jury said Drommond should serve life without parole.

Contact reporter Loretta Park at 801-625-4252 or lpark@standard.net