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Criminal Justice

Lawyer Blames Client’s Paxil Use for Bank Robbery

Posted Jan 24, 2012 9:26 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The lawyer for a man accused of robbing a Bank of America branch is blaming the crime on his client’s use of the antidepressant Paxil.

Defense lawyer Peter Johnson told a Georgia judge on Monday that he would call expert witnesses at trial to show the drug interfered with his client’s ability to distinguish right from wrong, the Augusta Chronicle reports. Johnson represents Feliz Bega Jr., accused of making off with $12,000 in the robbery before a tracking device led to his arrest.

“What was working on him was negating any ability to form criminal intent,” Johnson said during the status conference.

Assistant district attorney Hank Syms criticized the “Paxil made him do it” defense and called it a “charade.”

Hat tip to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

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