Summary:

In paragraph 23, it states that the suspect was taking Zoloft at the time of the rampage.  What used to be barroom brawls with "fists flying" has now become shooting tragedies where the "brawler" brings in FOUR guns to the tavern and shoots at 18 people.

Doctors tell SSRI patients not to drink alcohol and take SSRIs but the Catch-22 here is that sometimes the SSRI causes a craving for alcohol.  Even NAMI admits to this on their Website.


http://www.kcchronicle.com/main.asp?Search=1&ArticleID=11993&SectionID=58&SubS

Suspect takes stand in pub shooting trial

By VICTORIA A.F. CAMRON
Kane County Chronicle
editorial@kcchronicle.com


ST. CHARLES — Luther Casteel doesn’t remember April 14.
He doesn’t remember being escorted out of JB’s Pub in Elgin after being rude to a woman.
He doesn’t remember going home, shaving his head, changing into a camouflage jacket and arming himself with two shotguns and two handguns.
He doesn’t know if he returned to the tavern, shot at two occupied cars in the parking lot, then entered the bar yelling, “Where’s the fat (expletive deleted) who threw me out?”
And he doesn’t recall the shooting spree that left two men dead and 16 others injured, Casteel testified Thursday before Circuit Judge Donald Hudson.
Casteel, 43, of Elgin, is charged with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, aggravated battery with a firearm, aggravated battery and aggravated discharge of a firearm.
The Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office will seek the death penalty if he is convicted.
Public Defender David Kliment has claimed Casteel is not responsible for his actions on April 14 because the combination of alcohol and medications left him intoxicated.
During two hours of testimony, Casteel told the jury about the stress he was under at work and because he was trying to sell his condominium to move to St. Charles.
He admitted being at JB’s Pub with his girlfriend on the evening of April 13. He paid the tab at 8:55 p.m. and went home, Casteel said.
The last thing he remembers is sitting on the couch, drinking beer, he said.
The next thing he knew, he was waking up at the Kane County Jail, Casteel testified. He was transported to the jail on April 15.
In the meantime, prosecutors allege, Casteel returned to JB’s Pub, where he propositioned a group of women, then got in an argument with another woman.
Bouncer Russell Newberg Jr. advised Casteel to calm down and, when he didn’t, escorted him from the establishment, the bouncer testified earlier.
Casteel threatened Newberg before going home, and returned an hour later to begin the rampage.
Elgin police detective Lt. Scott Davis said that when he first saw Casteel at the police station, he thought the defendant was intoxicated.
“My observation was that his eyes were bloodshot,” Davis said. “There appeared to be an odor of alcohol about him. My impression was that he was intoxicated.”
Casteel told the officer his last name and spelled it, Davis said.
After spelling his last name for the detective, though, Casteel asked Davis why he was at the police station, Davis testified.
During questioning, though, Casteel was cooperative and responsive, Davis testified under cross-examination.
To support his client’s claim of intoxication, Kliment showed the jury pictures of Casteel’s home. Empty or near-empty beer bottles were piled up on the kitchen counter and scattered on the coffee table.
A doctor diagnosed Casteel with bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive disease, in January and he was taking medications for it, Casteel said. Previously, prosecutors introduced as evidence a bottle of prescription Zoloft that was missing only four pills.
When Kane County assistant state’s attorney Bob Berlin questioned Casteel about this discrepancy, the defendant said he was taking a second prescription for the same medication.
Two Elgin Fire Department paramedics testified Thursday that they treated Casteel for a bump on the head and vomiting at the Elgin Police Department at about 3:20 a.m. April 14. Casteel told them he’d consumed “several beers” and was in a fight, they testified.
When they examined him, Casteel said he did not remember his last name, his birthday or his address, the paramedics testified.
Under cross-examination, both paramedics said confusion and vomiting could be a result of a head injury. Berlin also pointed out that they didn’t know if he was telling them the truth when he said he did not remember his personal information.

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