Accountant Blames Benadryl-Induced Blackout for Jobsite Rampage
Posted May 15, 2008 7:19 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
A Tennessee accountant claims he was under the influence of Benadryl when he shot his way into his former workplace in Knoxville and tried to set it on fire. The office was closed and no one was hurt.
The lawyer for accountant Brandon Hensley maintains his client was suffering from a blackout caused by antihistamine abuse during the May 4 incident, the Knoxville News Sentinel reports. Hensley is charged with arson and discharging a weapon during a crime of violence.
Defense lawyer Ruth Ellis told the court in a preliminary hearing yesterday that Hensley abuses alcohol and Benadryl and suffers from depression. Hensley takes the antihistamine to relieve itching caused by eczema.
Hensley quit his job after receiving a reprimand for being late to work and taking too many days off. He also had a dispute over a shortfall in his last paycheck and didn’t realize the company had corrected the error by depositing the money directly into his bank account, an investigator testified.
U.S. District Magistrate Judge Bruce Guyton allowed Hensley to post bond, provided that he stop taking the antihistamine. Ellis said he would comply. "Even with his body driving him nuts—he has been sitting here itching all over—he stopped taking the Benadryl," Ellis said.