31, 2004, 1:01AM
Mom: My son isn't 'a homicidal maniac'
She says abuse, drug dosage may have driven boy to shoot his
fatherBy ANDREW TILGHMAN and KEVIN MORAN
2004 Houston Chronicle
Sexual abuse by his father and an increased dosage of Prozac may
have helped drive a 10-year-old boy to shoot and kill the father
last week, the boy's mother and attorney contend.
"My son is not a homicidal maniac," said Deborah Geisler of Katy.
''I knew my son was angry with his father, but I never thought my
son would see this as a way to handle the hopeless situation he
thought he was in."
But the attorney who represented Dr. Rick Lohstroh during a
bitter divorce denied the abuse allegations.
Lohstroh, a 41-year-old emergency room doctor at the University
of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, was shot in the back Friday
when he went to pick up his two sons at their mother's home in
Police say the 10-year-old boy climbed into the back of his
father's sport utility vehicle, fired a pistol several times through
the back of the driver's seat and then ran back inside the home.
Juvenile Court Judge Beverly Malazzo on Monday rejected a request
from Geisler that the boy be released into her custody.
The judge ordered that the boy, whose name is not being released
because of his age, remain in the Harris County juvenile detention
facility at least until a hearing on Sept. 13.
A psychiatrist prescribed Prozac for the boy in early August
after he was diagnosed with depression and anxiety, his mother said
He started with a 10-milligram dose and gradually moved to higher
doses, she said.
The week before the shooting, Geisler said, the boy started
taking a once-a-week, time-release dosage of 90 milligrams. He took
his second 90-milligram pill just hours before the shooting, she
The sexual abuse allegations could be central to the juvenile
court case ahead, a lawyer for the 10-year-old said.
Attorney Chris Tritico said he also is looking into the possible
impact of the medication.
"I don't know enough about the effects of Prozac on a 10-year-old
to know what, if any, role it played," he said. "That will certainly
be one of the things we'll be looking into."
Lohstroh's attorney, Kathleen Collins of Galveston, adamantly
denied allegations of abuse.
"All this stuff being said about him is untrue," Collins
Lohstroh and his wife finalized a contentious divorce in May 2003
and had joint custody of the children.
Geisler, 45, is a nurse at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in
Houston, a hospital spokesperson said.
Child Protective Services has a history of involvement with the
family, but that information is confidential since the state never
took custody of the children and no criminal charges were filed,
said CPS spokeswoman Estella Olguin.
Harris County sheriff's detectives are still investigating how
the 10-year-old got the gun.
Geisler said the semiautomatic pistol had been kept locked in its
case, along with an ammunition clip, in a closet in her room,
She said she thought it was a .40-caliber weapon, but she was not
"It was stored, unloaded and locked," Geisler said. "The clip was
out of it."
The boys attend Friendswood schools. The 10-year-old is a
fifth-grader at Windsong Intermediate School and his 7-year-old
brother is in the second grade at Cline Elementary, a school
district spokeswoman said.
Assistant District Attorney Helen Jackson said she urged the
juvenile court judge to keep the older boy in a detention center
because of the seriousness of the incident.
Under Texas law, children under 14 cannot be certified for trial
as adults in criminal court.
Many juveniles are sentenced to incarceration with the Texas
Youth Commission and released on their 18th birthdays. But even
after reaching that point, Geisler's son could face up to 40 years
in adult prison if he is convicted of murder and prosecutors seek to
have him sentenced as an adult.
Reporter Peggy O'Hare contributed to this story.