WLS Radio Article States That Topamax Side Effects Become Relevant Issue in Ongoing Illinois Murder Case, The Consumer Justice Foundation Reports

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The Consumer Justice Foundation, a for-profit corporation whose team of professional consumer advocates dedicate themselves to providing free online informational resources with regards to the potential dangers of certain prescription medications, has a Web site that can be found at the URL of http://www.topamaxbirthinjury.com. The Consumer Justice Foundation hereby alerts the public that WLS Radio in Illinois has published an article reporting that Topamax side effects are being alleged as a potential theory for the defense in an ongoing Illinois murder prosecution, and the defense is stating that a different person than the defendant committed the murders at issue because she was suffering from Topamax side effects that led her to experience psychotic thoughts.

The Consumer Justice Foundation, a for-profit corporation whose team of professional consumer advocates provide free online informational resources to the public regarding the potential dangers of using certain prescription medications, hereby alert the public that alleged Topamax side effects are becoming an integral issue in an ongoing Illinois murder case. This news was reported on June 18, 2012 on the Web site of WLS, a radio station in Illinois that cites court documents detailing testimony provided at a hearing on Friday.

Specifically, the case at issue is known as People of the State of Illinois vs. Christopher D. Vaughn, and it has been assigned the case number of 2007CF001308 that was filed in Will County Circuit Court. The defendant is facing four counts of murder with intent to kill or injure stemming from an incident that occurred on June 14, 2007. The case comes about because on that date, four people were fatally shot, and the prosecution is alleging that the defendant committed these acts. Those four people included three child siblings and their mother.

However, the defendant’s attorneys are alleging that it was the mother who committed the murders and then committed suicide. The reason that they are alleging that this is what actually occurred is because the mother was using Topamax at the time and she was, according to alleged earlier statements from one of the children who was killed, a ‘psycho’ who was ‘hearing thoughts in her head.’

The attorneys for the defendant are attempting to convince Judge Daniel Rozak that a doctor should be allowed to testify to the fact that Topamax was found in the mother’s system after the murders. The hearing in front of the judge involved statements from Professor David Healy of Wales, who stated that the Topamax should be considered as an explanation for the shootings "if there is not a convincing alternative explanation," according to courtroom testimony.

Prosecutors are against allowing the testimony of Doctor Healy and the evidence regarding possible Topamax side effects, as they have claimed that the defense did not sufficiently link the use of the medication with the murders. However, the defense has countered that in 2006, the mother had sent an email to a classmate that stated that she was experiencing ‘bothersome’ Topamax side effects and later acknowledged to her husband – the current defendant – that her personality had changed.

The judge presiding over the case did not make a decision regarding whether or not this evidence could be admitted at trial. To date the FDA has warned that one potential Topamax side effect is suicidal thoughts. The trial of Mr. Vaughn is scheduled to begin in Joliet, Illinois on August 13, 2012.

About the Consumer Justice Foundation

The Consumer Justice Foundation, whose Web site can be found at http://www.consumerjusticefoundation.com, is a for-profit organization that serves two purposes for consumers: (1) to provide educational information regarding the policies and procedures of large corporations and how they affect the average consumer; and (2) to provide news updates and resources that continue to update consumers regarding developments taken by corporations that include pharmaceutical drug companies, auto manufacturers and insurance companies so that consumers who have been harmed can use these informational resources to connect to an experienced professional who can help them. The team at the Consumer Justice Foundation is staffed by experienced and passionate consumer advocates whose mission is to raise the awareness of issues that could pose a risk of harm to those who may not otherwise be aware of the dangers they face.

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Faith Anderson
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