Murder Cymbalta Antidepressant 2007-05-15 Texas *Not Guilty by Reason of Cymbalta Induced Insanity: Man Kills Wife
Summary:

Paragraph 7 reads:  "But his lawyers say a doctor's decision to increase Crerar's dosage of Cymbalta four days before the murder pushed him to try to kill himself ­ Crerar tried unsuccessfully to hang himself the day before the murder ­ and kill his wife. Investigators also found other prescribed drugs, including the sleep aids Rozerem, Ambien and Lunesta, in the Crerars' house."

Paragraph 11 reads:  "But when Crerar began taking antidepressants after the death of his older brother in August, he changed, neighbors said. Crerar, a friendly man who delivered firewood to those in need during the winter and donated most of his vegetable garden's bounty to his church's food pantry, became withdrawn and sometimes hallucinated, according to court records."

http://www.statesman.com/news/content/news/stories/local/05/15/15crerar.html

Bastrop man gets probation in wife's killing

Crerar's attorneys say anti-depressants pushed him toward murder and suicide.

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By Molly Bloom
AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF
Tuesday, May 15, 2007

BASTROP ­ A Bastrop County man who choked and stabbed his wife to death in October won't go to prison under a sentence given by District Judge Terry Flenniken.

Robert Crerar, a 67-year-old retired county probation transport officer, instead was sentenced earlier this month to 10 years of probation.

On Oct. 1, Crerar, who was taking Cymbalta and other drugs for severe depression, told his wife of 30 years that he planned to kill himself. Dolores Crerar, 73, told her husband that she "couldn't go on without you; kill me first," according to court records.

Crerar choked her, stabbed her 47 times and slit her throat before calling 911 to confess. He meant to kill himself after killing his wife but was too tired to do so, he told police.

Crerar was at a loss to explain his actions.

"I feel it's out of character for me to do something like that," he wrote in his confession. "I ask myself over and over again why did I do something like that and I can't answer that question."

But his lawyers say a doctor's decision to increase Crerar's dosage of Cymbalta four days before the murder pushed him to try to kill himself ­ Crerar tried unsuccessfully to hang himself the day before the murder ­ and kill his wife. Investigators also found other prescribed drugs, including the sleep aids Rozerem, Ambien and Lunesta, in the Crerars' house.

"He may well not have been able to control his behavior at the time of the offense," psychologist Cecil Reynolds wrote in a pre-sentencing court report.

The Crerars' family and neighbors were shocked by the murder. The Crerars were a loving couple, and Robert Crerar always made sure to kiss his wife goodbye, even before going on brief errands, recalled Gary Smith, an elder at the Crerars' church.

"He worshipped the ground she walked on," he wrote in a letter to the court.

But when Crerar began taking antidepressants after the death of his older brother in August, he changed, neighbors said. Crerar, a friendly man who delivered firewood to those in need during the winter and donated most of his vegetable garden's bounty to his church's food pantry, became withdrawn and sometimes hallucinated, according to court records.

"I looked up to him and when he started taking that medicine . . . it really messed him up," Smith wrote.

Crerar accepted a deal from prosecutors in which he'd face a prison sentence of no more than 20 years, District Attorney Bryan Goertz said. Sentences for murder convictions are up to 99 years. Under the terms of his probation, Crerar's son and daughter-in-law will care for him and make sure that he gets psychiatric treatment.

Dolores Crerar's only living blood relative, son Rick Harman, didn't oppose the sentence.

"He needs help, but I don't believe he deserves to go to jail," Harman wrote in a letter to the court. "It is just not right that he should be punished any more for something he had no control over."

Assistant District Attorney Greg Gilleland, who prosecuted the case, said he feels justice was done.

"Anybody that disagrees . . . needed to be in that courtroom" listening to Harman plead for mercy for his mother's killer, he said.