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Sharon murderer blames Zoloft for '97 killing spree
By Dave Wedge
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

A Sharon double killer whose 1999 insanity bid was rejected claims he was ``involuntarily intoxicated'' by Zoloft and turned homicidal because of the anti-depressant's ``toxic'' effects.
     Richard Shuman, who is serving a life sentence for the 1997 murders of his business partners, Jack Badler and Howard Librot, claims Zoloft prescribed to him eight days before the killings sent him into a ``severe drug-induced agitation'' called akathisia.
     The condition, marked by explosive violence and suicidal tendencies, gained widespread publicity in 2000. Shuman claims he should get a new trial based on ``important new research specifically linking Zoloft'' to akathisia. Dedham Superior Court Judge Margaret Botsford last week denied his motion for a new trial.
     Shuman, 55, reportedly fell into a deep depression because of work woes and was put on Zoloft after attempting suicide. On Aug. 5, 1997, he shot Badler, 50, at a Stoughton office, drove a mile and then fatally shot Librot, 60.
     ``I think Richard Shuman is a very, very decent individual and was a wonderful family man,'' his trial attorney, Kevin Reddington, said. ``I think that a lot of the grief from that case lies at the foot of the doctor who prescribed him that medication.''
     


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