Andrew Tilghman and Kevin Moran Houston
Chronicle Aug. 31, 2004 10:17 AM
HOUSTON - Sexual abuse by
his father and an increased dosage of Prozac may have helped
drive a 10-year-old boy to shoot and kill his father last
week, the boy's mother and attorney contend.
"My son is
not a homicidal maniac," said Deborah Geisler. "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
Lohstroh, a 41-year-old emergency-room
doctor, was shot in the back Friday when he went to pick up
his two sons at their mother's home.
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
Juvenile Court Judge Beverly Malazzo on Monday
rejected a request from Geisler that he be released into her
custody. The judge ordered that the boy, whose name is not
being released because of his age, remain in a juvenile
detention facility at least until a hearing on Sept.
A psychiatrist prescribed Prozac for the boy in
early August after he was diagnosed as suffering from
depression and anxiety, his mother said Sunday. He started
with a 10-milligram dose and gradually moved to higher doses,
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 said.
The sexual abuse
allegations could be central to the juvenile court case ahead,
a lawyer for the 10-year-old said.
"I firmly believe
this young man was a victim of physical and sexual abuse,"
said attorney Chris Tritico. "We are going to be doing some
investigation, putting together evidence for the next
Tritico said he also is looking
into the possible impact of the medication.
Lohstroh's attorney, Kathleen Collins, adamantly denied
allegations of abuse.
Lohstroh and his wife finalized a
contentious divorce in May 2003 and had joint custody of the
children. Geisler, 45, is a nurse.
Services has a history of involvement with the family, but
that information is confidential because the state never took
custody of the children and no criminal charges were filed,
said CPS spokeswoman Estella Olguin.
CPS reports are
not public documents but would be made available to the judge
who granted the parents joint custody.
sheriff's detectives are still investigating how the
10-year-old got the gun.
Geisler said the boy may have
placed the Beretta semiautomatic pistol in his backpack before
leaving the house to get into his father's vehicle.
gun had been kept locked in its case, along with an ammunition
clip, in a closet in her room, Geisler said. 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."
She said she bought it
after her divorce because "it just made me feel safer." Her
two sons were with her when she bought it, she said, but she
did not know whether her older son knew where she kept
Assistant District Attorney Helen Jackson said she
urged the juvenile court judge to keep the boy in a detention
center because of the seriousness of the incident.
said the district attorney's office will continue
investigating to determine whether to file charges in juvenile
Under Texas law, children under 14 cannot be
certified for trial as adults in criminal court.
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