Criminal Justice

Murder Defendant Claims Caffeine Insanity

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A Kentucky defendant accused of killing his wife is claiming insanity due to excessive caffeine use that caused sleep deprivation.

Lawyers for Woody Will Smith say he was drinking five or six soft drinks and energy drinks daily and taking diet pills when he strangled his wife in May 2009 with an extension cord, according to the Associated Press and

Smith reportedly consumed more than 400 milligrams of caffeine a day to stay awake, fearing that if he succumbed to sleep his wife would take their two children and leave him during his slumber.

An overdose occurs after 300 milligrams—about three cups of coffee—according to AP’s reading of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, a publication of the American Psychiatric Association.

Smith, a Dayton, Ky., man, will be tried this week.

Updated coverage: “Lawyer Drops Caffeine Insanity Theory in First Day of Trial”

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