Summary:

Paragraphs two through four read:  "A neuropsychiatrist and defense expert witness, Dr. Lawson Bernstein, testified yesterday in Orange County Court that the boy, Raul "Ricky" Laguerre Jr., was in the grip of intoxication from medication prescribed by his family's psychiatrist, Dr. Alfred Ramirez of Middletown. "

   "'In layman's terms, doctor, would you say Ricky's brain was poisoned?' asked Paul E. Kerson, one of Laguerre's lawyers."

   "'Yes,' Bernstein said. He said that medical records Ramirez maintained on Laguerre were 'very, very brief – so brief that they don't fulfill the standard for a medical record.'"

Paragraph 6 reads:  "Laguerre was taking Zoloft, Risperdal and Strattera to combat depression, nightmares and symptoms of attention deficit disorder."

http://archive.recordonline.com/archive/2005/01/28/badmeds2.htm


Expert witness says drugs to blame in sodomy case

   By Oliver Mackson
   Times Herald-Record
   omackson@th-record.com
  
   Goshen – A few hours after the big blackout of 2003, a woman was attacked in her home in the Town of Newburgh. She suffered a severe cut on her head, and she was sodomized. Police arrested her neighbor, a 15-year-old boy.
   A neuropsychiatrist and defense expert witness, Dr. Lawson Bernstein, testified yesterday in Orange County Court that the boy, Raul "Ricky" Laguerre Jr., was in the grip of intoxication from medication prescribed by his family's psychiatrist, Dr. Alfred Ramirez of Middletown.
   "In layman's terms, doctor, would you say Ricky's brain was poisoned?" asked Paul E. Kerson, one of Laguerre's lawyers.
   "Yes," Bernstein said. He said that medical records Ramirez maintained on Laguerre were "very, very brief – so brief that they don't fulfill the standard for a medical record."
   He compared the importance of the records to "flying a plane in a storm. You have to check the gauges, check the weather reports, stay on the VFR beam."
   Laguerre was taking Zoloft, Risperdal and Strattera to combat depression, nightmares and symptoms of attention deficit disorder.
   Bernstein, who interviewed Laguerre in jail and looked over his medical records, said Laguerre has no memory of committing a crime on the night the woman was attacked.
   Lawyers for Laguerre contend that he wasn't responsible for his actions that night and that he was acting out a dream while living in a state of hypersexual arousal caused by a bad reaction to medication.
   Prosecutor Mike Milza will call his own psychiatrist today to rebut Bernstein's testimony.
   Judge Nicholas DeRosa told the jury that deliberations will likely begin on Monday.
   After court yesterday, Ramirez said he didn't know of any problems with the way he prescribed medication. He noted that the boy and his mother came for follow-up visits after the medications were first prescribed.
   "When I saw him and his mother, things were going well," Ramirez said.
   Bernstein testified yesterday that even after Laguerre and his mother complained that he was reacting badly to the medication – months before the crime – "the doctor simply told them to tough it out, this is how the medication works."