I blame the drugs Robin Williams took to fight Parkinson’s, claims friend: Actor Rob Schneider says he is convinced medication caused star’s suicide — (The Daily Mail)

By Caroline Graham for Mail On Sunday

A close friend of Robin Williams has blamed the drugs the comedian was taking to combat Parkinson’s disease for his suicide.

Actor Rob Schneider tweeted: ‘Now that we can talk about it #Robin Williams was on a drug treating the symptoms of Parkinson’s. One of the side effects is suicide.’

Schneider, 50, met Williams more than two decades ago when they appeared on the US TV show, Saturday Night Live. They remained close friends and often performed together in stand-up comedy clubs.

Williams’s spokeswoman declined to comment when asked by The Mail on Sunday about rumours that the tragic comic’s family blames the medication he was on for ‘pushing him over the edge’.

A source said: ‘Robin had recently left rehab. He was on medication for anxiety and depression and had also started taking drugs to combat the early onset of Parkinson’s.

‘Many of these drugs list suicidal thoughts as a possible side effect. A lot of Robin’s friends are convinced that the cocktail of prescription pills he was on somehow contributed to his mental state deteriorating as quickly as it did.

‘Robin had always suffered from depression and addiction but the diagnosis and treatment of his Parkinson’s was new, as was the combination of drugs he was on.’

Williams, 63, was last photographed at an art show near his home in Tiburon, northern California, last Saturday night. He appeared frail and thin.

He took his life last Sunday as his third wife Susan Schneider (who is not related to Rob Schneider) slept in the next room. The pair are thought to have been sleeping in separate rooms because Williams was suffering from insomnia brought on by the drugs he was taking.

Williams’s body was found on Monday morning by his personal assistant. Results of toxicology tests are expected to take six weeks.

Experts say Parkinson’s disease can make symptoms of depression worse.  America’s National Institute of Mental Health says on its website that people struggling with depression and Parkinson’s ‘suffer higher levels of anxiety and more problems with concentration’ than those suffering from only one of the ailments.

Dr Jeff Bronstein, neurologist specialising in Parkinson’s, said: ‘Obviously getting the diagnosis can make people depressed but we also know there is a much higher incidence of depression even before the disease is recognised. We think it’s one of the early symptoms.’

The funeral of the star of Good Will Hunting, Good Morning Vietnam and Mrs Doubtfire could take place as early as this weekend.

A source told The Mail on Sunday: ‘The funeral will be private and small for family and very close friends only. There will be larger memorials in Los Angeles and New York at a later date.’

Williams was involved in raising money for Parkinson’s research through his friend Michael J. Fox’s foundation before he was diagnosed with the disease.

Back To The Future star Fox tweeted: ‘Stunned to learn Robin had PD. A true friend. I wish him peace.’

Chef died from toxic level of anti-depressants — (The Oxford Times)

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The Oxford Times

A CHEF who died after being found at the bottom of stairs in an Oxford home for people with mental health problems had toxic levels of an anti-depressant in his system.

Sun Hei Lam, 54, was discovered at about 2pm on April 22 by support worker, Robert Atkinson, who had earlier heard a thud at the top of the stairs.

Mr Lam was pronounced dead at about 2.30pm that day from a large upper gastro-intestinal haemorrhage, due to gastritis – an inflammation of the lining of the stomach – and toxic levels of fluoxetine – a drug he was taking.

Coroner Darren Salter heard at Mr Lam’s inquest on Tuesday that pathologist Clare Verrill had concluded his death should be attributed to toxic levels of fluoxetine in his system.

Mr Salter said: “There is evidence that not only could the fluoxetine have been at a toxic level and in a fatal range, but it could have been responsible for the gastritis.

“I think that the best opinion is that this is a drug-related death, not least because of the fluoxetine.”

Suicide ruled in plane crash — (Fredericksburg Free Lance Star)

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Suicide ruled in plane crash

The pilot who died in a crash near Shannon Airport one year ago had been diagnosed with severe depression seven weeks earlier, according to the final report from the National Transportation Safety Board.

Edwin G. Hassel, 22, was living in Spotsylvania County and engaged at the time of his death.   The investigation concluded that Hassel intentionally crashed the Cessna 172M he had rented the evening of July 22, 2013.

An autopsy performed by the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Richmond listed the cause of death as blunt force trauma and the manner of death as suicide, the NTSB report states.

Before the crash, Hassel had been diagnosed with “severe recurrent major depression.”  He was prescribed an antidepressant and urged to seek counseling, according to the report.

Toxicology tests conducted by the Federal Aviation Administration’s Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory in Oklahoma City detected an antidepressant in his system.  It also detected ethanol, which is the active agent in alcoholic beverages, according to information from the Mayo Clinic medical laboratory.

The ethanol level detected was below Virginia’s legal limit for impairment.

“The investigation was unable to determine if pre-flight ethanol ingestion played a role in pilot’s decision-making,” the report states.

Hassel went online at 5:54 p.m. that July evening to reserve the Cessna for a flight, the report stated. He showed up at the airport on Tidewater Trail afterward and got the keys after speaking to a flight instructor who said he “seemed to be in good spirits and was not otherwise behaving abnormally.”

However,  Hassel’s fiancée contacted authorities about the same time to say she believed he planned to commit suicide “based on her previous interactions with him and a note she discovered in her home,” the report states.

She arrived at the airport as he was walking to the plane. Deputies soon arrived along with the flight instructor and they witnessed the crash.

Hassel performed a low pass down the runway, then started erratic maneuvers near the airport, then climbed to an estimated altitude of 3,000 feet before placing the plane in a “near-vertical attitude,” the report states.

The plane’s engine sounded like it was at full power prior to impact with the ground about 200 feet northwest of the runway.

The plane burst into flames on impact but fire and rescue personnel were quickly on scene.

Hassel had accumulated about 165 hours of flight experience as of May 2013.

The plane was operated by JLS Aviation Flight School and was not found to have any mechanical problems.

“Although the wreckage was significantly fragmented and fire-damaged, no evidence of any preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures of the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation were observed,” the report states.

Pamela Gould: 540/735-1972     pgould@freelancestar.com

Lawyer: Mental issues behind hammer attack — (New Britain Herald)

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New Britain Herald

Wednesday, June 25, 2014 10:23 PM EDT


NEW BRITAIN — A defense attorney is hoping to show his that client was affected by mental health issues when he hit a woman in the head with a hammer nearly a dozen times last July.
Richard Campbell, 43, of no permanent address, is accused of attacking the woman after she told him that he couldn’t stay at her home.

Campbell is on trial for attempted murder and assault. Dr. Andrew Meisler, a psychologist hired by the defense to examine Campbell, testified Tuesday that the homeless man told him he was on anti-psychotic and anti-depressant drugs at the time of the attack.  Meisler said the medications could have affected Campbell’s behavior.

According to police reports, the woman and her family were celebrating her 40th birthday and she wound up telling Campbell, a longtime family friend, that he could stay the night in her son’s bedroom. But she also told him that he couldn’t stay any longer than that one night, reports said.

The woman told investigators that she and her son went to sleep in her bed and both woke up around 5:30 a.m. the next day, when Campbell struck her in the side of the head with hammer.

He was shouting, “I’m going to kill you,” as he continued to hit her, she said. The woman scramble away and out of the bedroom, but he threw her down the stairs.

The woman and the boy fled and sought help from neighbors. Police arrived, finding the woman suffering from several head wounds and the house splattered with blood from the bedroom to the first floor.

Campbell was spotted and arrested in a small clearing in the area of Winfield and Marwood drives. He said he had awoken to find himself standing over the woman and started to strike her with an object, but he couldn’t recall what.

“Campbell stated that he heard voices that made him do it,” court papers said.   The prosecutor, New Britain State’s Attorney Brian Preleski, reminded Meisler during cross-examination that the psychologist didn’t actually know if Campbell had taken any of the drugs before the attack.

Campbell is being tried before New Britain Superior Court Judge Francis D’Addabbo, who will render the verdict.

Lisa Backus can be reached at (860) 225-4601, ext. 306 or Lbackus@newbritainherald.com.

Lawsuit Alleges Celexa, Lexapro Makers Mislead On Safety for Children — (AboutLawsuits.com)

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By: Irvin Jackson

Published: June 25th, 2014

The makers of Celexa and Lexapro intentionally misled the medical community about the safety of their popular antidepressants for children, according to allegations raised in a recent lawsuit that indicates the drug maker illegally promoted the medications for uses that were not approved by the FDA.

A complaint (PDF) was filed against Forest Pharmaceuticals earlier this year in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, seeking class action status on behalf of all individuals who purchased or paid for prescriptions of Celexa or Lexapro.

In response to an attempt by Forest to have the case dismissed, plaintiffs filed a brief (PDF) on June 13, indicating that the case should be allowed to move forward.

According to allegations raised in the case, Forest engaged in deceptive and unlawful marketing that was purposefully designed to deceive the public about the safety of Celexa and Lexapro for children, and which violated the law so that the drug maker could sell the medications it knew had safety problems for children. Forest allegedly bribed doctors, rigged clinical trials and unlawfully marketed Celexa and Lexapro to get prescriptions for children.
“By using fundamentally misleading drug labels, the ‘endorsements’ of paid opinion leaders, gerrymandered clinical trials, and a legion of specially trained sales personnel, Forest misled consumers and the medical community about Celexa’s and Lexapro’s efficacy in treating pediatric depression,” the lawsuit states. “The clinical trials that examined whether the antidepressants Celexa and Lexapro are effective at treating adolescent major depressive disorder (“MDD”) indicate that Celexa and Lexapro are no more effective clinically than a sugar pill.”

In September 2010, Forest pled guilty to charges of illegally marketing the drugs, and a felony count of obstructing justice. The company agreed to pay more than $313 million as part of a whistleblower lawsuit.
The charges stemmed from off-label promotions Forest Pharmaceuticals now admits that it conducted following a study involving Celexa. The company trumpeted the positive results of the study while failing to mention negative results during a similar study conducted in Europe. The company also gave kickbacks to doctors and others to prescribe both Celexa and Lexapro and had its sales representatives and outside speakers talk to pediatric specialists about prescribing both drugs to adolescents and children. –

While Forest admitted to illegal marketing of Celexa and Lexapro, the company has asked that the lawsuit be dismissed, saying plaintiffs waited too long to file a claim. The company argues that under statute of limitation laws, the plaintiffs knew or should have known of their actions involving Celexa and Lexapro as early as 2005, when charges were first brought against the company. However, plaintiffs maintain that does should not bar the filing of the class action lawsuit at this time.

Their opposition brief notes that statute of limitations is suspended when a lawsuit seeks class action status in case it is denied. That is what happened when a complaint was first filed in 2009, the brief states.

Forest reached a number of Celexa and Lexapro lawsuit settlements in 2010 over claims that the drugs caused suicidal tendencies in children.

More than 50 suicide lawsuits over Lexapro and Celexa alleged that children taking the two drugs were prone to violence and suicide. The plaintiffs in those cases claimed that Forest knew from studies that there was a higher risk of suicide associated with the drugs when used by children, but failed to warn patients or doctors. The lawsuits charge the company with failure to warn, negligence and fraud.

In 2005, the FDA required that a black box warning be placed on a wide variety of antidepressants, warning that they could cause increased thoughts of suicide in children and adolescents. Both Celexa and Lexapro were required to carry those warning. The suicides that sparked the lawsuits predated the FDA-required label change.


Double killer Glen Patterson knifed dad and gran, court hears — (The Chronicle)

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The Chronicle

Jun 24, 2014 16:30

By Rob Kennedy

Glen Patterson became convinced his loving family were out to get him due to his schizophrenia.

Double killer Glen Patterson stabbed and slashed his dad and gran to death in a brutal and frenzied attack with three knives and a nail file, a court heard.

Patterson flipped when his schizophrenia got the better of him and he became convinced his loving family were plotting to kill him.

He cut the throat of his 82-year-old gran, Clara, as she sat in her armchair by the fire, then plunged a knife and nail file into her head, neck, body and limbs, 30 times, even continuing to stab her after she was dead.

Patterson’s dad, Ray, tried to stop the horrific onslaught on his mother but his son then turned the knife on him.

Ray, who suffered from multiple sclerosis and heart problems, suffered 136 separate injuries, including having his throat cut.

Patterson, whose mental health had deteriorated when he started abusing alcohol and drugs after starting college, was originally charged with two counts of murder.

However he pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility due to his mental illness.

As Patterson, 25, was given an indefinite hospital order to be treated at Broadmoor, devastated relatives told how they are struggling to understand what happened.

Ian Patterson, Ray’s brother, said in a victim impact statement to the court: “We are devastated at what happened to those who most cared for and nurtured Glen.

“They did the best they could and loved their son and grandson dearly.   “It’s particularly troubling to comprehend what happened.”

The slayings happened in February at the £500,000, five-bedroomed home on Front Street, Benton, North Tyneside, where Patterson lived with his dad and gran, on February 11.

John Elvidge, prosecuting, said: “The offences came to light when police were called to a pub on Front Street, where the defendant was behaving erratically and running into the path of vehicles.

“He said to police ‘My parents attacked me. I’ve killed them.”

When officers went to the £500,000 detached home, they found two bodies on their backs on the living room floor.

The court heard Patterson had lived on Front Street with his dad and gran since the age of 12, after his mum and dad separated.

Multiple Sclerosis sufferer Ray, 61 who also had pulmonary disease and an enlarged heart, and Clara, who was just 5ft 1ins and less than seven stone, both had mobility problems and relied on Patterson’s help, the court heard.

Patterson was well-behaved as a child but after he started doing art at college and began misusing alcohol and drugs, his attitude towards his family deteriorated and he became aggressive and threatening.

He had no previous convictions but police had been called out to the family home a number of times by Ray and Clara after reports he was shouting and banging on doors and windows.

In March 2008 Patterson called police saying his dad had fallen but the call handler heard a male voice in the background saying he had been pushed.

In April 2009 Patterson was arrested for breach of the peace but his gran and dad refused to provide statements.

In the same year Patterson’s mother called police saying he gad pinned her to the bed and shouted abuse and threats towards her.

In 2009 his uncle, Ian Patterson, came to Newcastle to confront Patterson over threats he had made to his dad and gran.

Patterson started taking anti-depressants and moved to London to study in 2009.

He had returned home for Christmas last year and by February there was another incident involving police.  He called an ambulance while suffering alcohol withdrawal but paramedics had to call police after he started causing trouble.

Four days later, around 6.20 pm on February 11, Patterson was spotted pacing up and down Front Street, near his home, in an agitated and erratic manner.

He was shouting “Where are those noises coming from?” to a passer-by and directed the same question at a set of traffic lights.

Patterson was also spotted near Four Lane Ends Metro station, where he was distressed and again asking people where the noises and voices were coming from.

Around 9pm he went into The Black Bull pub, near his home, and grabbed a customer’s pint from the bar and took it outside.

He came back into the pub but was escorted out and ran into the road, where he was hit by a car.

Mr Elvidge said he got up and continued running in a “manic fashion” and collided with a stationary taxi. He got in the back of the taxi, climbed into the front seat then got out, telling the cabbie “They are chasing me, they are going to kill me”.

He ran off and when the concerned taxi driver followed him, he was punched by Patterson.

Police arrived on the scene and Patterson told them: “I’ve killed two people. I’ve killed my mam and dad. I did it in self defence, my parents attacked me and I’ve killed them.”

Mr Elvidge said: “He was unfit for interview and spoke of auditory hallucinations, including the notion of a plot to kill him.

“He said he cut his grandmother’s throat and stabbed her several times.

“He said his father tried to stop him, at which point he stabbed him as well.”

When police went into the house they found Clara and Ray lying dead on their backs on the living room floor.

Clara had 30 stab and slash wounds to her body, including several to her neck, and had also been punched. Some of the injuries were inflicted after she died.

Ray had 136 separate injuries, dozens of them inflicted with a knife, including a slit throat. He also had stab wounds to his chest and face and fractures to his shoulder and face. Some of the injuries were inflicted after he died and he had also been kicked and punched.

The court heard Patterson had used three knives and a nail file to carry out the attacks.

Toby Hedworth, defending, said: “He realises what he has done and is bewildered and distressed about it.”


Mother sought treatment, claimed to hear voices before tossing kids out window — (ABC 13 Action News)

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ABC 13 Action News

By Joyce Lupiani.

CREATED Jun 19, 2014

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) — A Las Vegas mother who threw her two young children out of a second-story bedroom window before jumping herself told police that she heard a male voice saying “throw yourself” before the incident.

35-year-old Luz Robledo Ibarra has been booked in absentia on two counts of attempted murder and two counts of child abuse with substantial bodily harm.

The incident happened just before 6 a.m. June 12 on Spiritual Way, near Lake Mead Boulevard and Walnut Street. According to a report released today by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, police officers found the children’s grandmother holding one of the young children, who was bleeding from the head, upon arrival. They discovered another child and Ibarra nearby.

During their investigation, it was revealed that Ibarra had sought medical treatment on two occasions before that day. On March 6, 2014, Ibarra complained to a local doctor about insomnia, anxiety, pain in her upper back and neck, and told the doctor that she was overwhelmed with responsibilities.

The doctor prescribed Zoloft to be taken at bedtime.

On April 7, the doctor saw Ibarra again. At that time, Ibarra was offered psychiatric treatment at Harmony Clinic but she declined saying she would control it on her own. The doctor made a note that although Ibarra was previously prescribed Zoloft, she had stopped taking it because she did not like it. The doctor also documented that the Ibarra denied suicidal thoughts, but she looked very restless and uncomfortable.

The children’s grandmother told police that she was a resident of Mexico, but she had arrived in March 2014 to help care for the children and planned to permanently relocate. She also told police that Ibarra asked “what did I do, what did I do?” as she lay on the ground after jumping out of the window. Another family member told police that when he asked Ibarra why she had thrown the children out of the window, she told him that “she didn’t want to live anymore.”

The mother and children were transported to University Medical Center.

Both of the children were badly injured, including head injuries. The mother also suffered a fractured pelvis.

During an interview with investigators at the hospital, Ibarra told police that she had never heard voices in the past and denied that she had ever had thoughts of hurting herself or her children. She also told police that she tossed her six-month-old son out the window first, followed by her daughter.


Police: Arson suspect upset he had to move out — (The Columbian)

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The Columbian

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

Published: June 16, 2014, 11:17 AM

 A Vancouver man may have set fire to a house he shared with his former boyfriend because he was upset that he had to move out after the couple’s break-up, court records show.

Timothy C. Meagher, 57, had recently learned from an attorney that his partner of 17 years, James L. Hansen, 52, would retain ownership of the house because Hansen had owned the house prior to Meagher moving in, Clark County sheriff’s Detective Beth Luvera wrote in a court affidavit.

Meagher made a first court appearance Monday morning in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of first-degree arson domestic violence.

He shuffled into the courtroom wearing shackles and a green suicide smock, indicating he is on a suicide watch at the Clark County Jail.  Judge Gregory Gonzales held him in lieu of $100,000 bail. Deputy Prosecutor Julie Carmena requested bail in that amount because Meagher tried to hide from law enforcement after the fire.  He also may have taken some Zoloft pills, she said.

“We have some concerns about his safety, as well,” she said.   Gonzales appointed Vancouver attorney George Marlton to defend Meagher.  He is scheduled to be arraigned on the charge June 25.

Court documents claim that Meagher focused on some of Hansen’s most treasured possessions when he started four separate fires Friday afternoon in the house at 6208 N.E. Wilding Road in the Sunnyside neighborhood. He poured gasoline on Hansen’s favorite recliner and on an heirloom lace tablecloth that had belonged to Hansen’s mother, Luvera noted. Another fire was started downstairs in the family room, where Hansen’s favorite recliner was located.

No injuries were reported. Damage was estimated at about $100,000, according to the sheriff’s office.

Hansen said he saw Meagher drive by his workplace during his lunch hour Friday and thought Meagher might be stalking him, court records say.

A neighbor, Tim Robinson, saw Meagher enter the house about 12:45 p.m. About an hour later, he saw smoke wafting from the eaves and called 911.

Meagher was apprehended at a cabin in Cougar owned by his employer. A sheriff’s bulletin said Meagher did not have permission to be in the cabin, and a neighbor alerted authorities after noticing a suspicious vehicle parked in front of it. Luvera said that Meagher hid in the woods for about 15 minutes before surrendering to law enforcement.

Meagher refused to give a statement to detectives, court records say.

Suspect in Seattle Pacific killing had well-documented demons — (The Seattle Times)

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The Seattle Times

Seattle Times staff

June 6, 2014, updated June 7, 2014

The suspect in the Seattle Pacific University shooting has battled for years with mental-health issues and alcohol, according to court and police records and a counselor, and he reported hearing the voice of one of the Columbine killers in his head, “telling him to hurt people.”

Aaron Rey Ybarra concealed his dark side well.   His friends describe him as sociable, well-adjusted and able to make them laugh.

But court files, psychological reports and police records obtained Friday instead tell the disturbing story of an alcoholic with multiple encounters with the mental-health system, an obsessive compulsive who heard voices in his head from a long-dead Columbine killer responsible for one of the worst school massacres in history.

Ybarra, 26, of Mountlake Terrace, is accused of opening fire with a shotgun at Seattle Pacific University on Thursday, killing one student and wounding two others.

Alarm bells about Ybarra began sounding loudly as long ago as October 2010, records show.  About this time he was attending Edmonds Community College and working at a gun range. That month, he drunkenly called 911, telling dispatchers “he was suicidal and had a rage inside him.”

“He wanted to hurt himself and others,” according to a Mountlake Terrace police report.

Ybarra disclosed he was hospitalized twice in 2010 and 2011 after he heard Columbine killer Eric Harris’ voice in his head “telling him to hurt people,” court records show. He became afraid and sought help in the emergency room, a counselor’s report states.

In November 2011, Ybarra “was referred to Snohomish County Mental Health for involuntary hospitalization, and determined not detainable.”

The report added that Ybarra’s mother “is refusing admittance for her son.” He was discharged.

In August 2012, Ybarra refused voluntary hospitalization after “making threats,” according to a counselor’s report. He was again referred to Snohomish County Mental Health for possible involuntary treatment, but once again determined “not detainable.”

“Voices scared him”

Later that month, Ybarra confided his dark fantasies to a counselor about the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado.

Ybarra said then he “feels he identifies with one of the Columbine killers, whom he identified as Eric Harris,” counselor Deldene J. Garner wrote later in a chemical dependency assessment filed in Edmonds Municipal Court.

Ybarra had been referred to the counselor following his arrest in July 2012 for driving drunk on an Edmonds sidewalk. He reported “being diagnosed with Psychosis and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder,” the report said.

On occasion, “voices scared him,” Ybarra told the counselor.  He said he’d been prescribed with Prozac and Risperdal to help him with his problems.

Still, the young man “denied any thoughts or plans to hurt others,” the counselor later reported.

In October 2012, a passer-by found Ybarra lying drunk in a Mountlake Terrace street, claiming “he wanted a SWAT team to get him and make him famous.”

Ybarra complained that “no one cared about him,” a police reportsaid. “He said he wants to die.”

In two of the incidents, responding officers detained Ybarra under a mental health hold and took him to an Edmonds hospital for treatment — an involuntarily commitment for his extreme intoxication that posed a threat to himself and others, Mountlake Terrace Assistant Police Chief Pete Caw said Friday.

Friends, family and alcohol

His friends and neighbors tell a vastly different story.

Jessica Vondra, who grew up next door to Aaron Ybarra and his family, said he pulled pranks and constantly made her laugh.  The Ybarra children were home-schooled and out almost daily with her and her brother, Brett, she said.

“He was a good kid,” Brett Vondra said in a text message. “He did a terrible thing and it makes me sick but I never thought he would be capable.””

“It’s kind of scary when someone is just so normal and this happens,” his sister said.

In recent years, Ybarra formed a tight bond with a group of friends who frequented Ringers Pub and Grill, near the Ybarra family home in Mountlake Terrace.

“He’s a super loyal friend,” said Zach McKinley, who met Ybarra at the pub. “He’s the kind of guy who would give you the shirt off his back.”

Ybarra’s life was far from perfect, friends noted. His father drank heavily and some relatives had died from alcohol poisoning, he reported to a counselor. Ybarra also admitted to experimenting with marijuana, cocaine and amphetamines.

Ybarra described himself as “a loner” who drank to be sociable. By age 24, he drank at least six shots a day to cope with what he described as “depression” caused by “his obsessive compulsiveness,” according to the counselor’s report.

In July 2012, Edmonds police arrested him on the drunken driving incident, recording his blood-alcohol level at .18 — more than twice the legal limit.

There were other problems at home. Last summer, Mountlake Terrace police responded to what they described as an “an attempted suicide” by his father, Ambrose, at the family’s home on 238th Street Southwest, where Aaron lived with his brother, Joel, and his parents.

Officers found Ambrose Ybarra reeking of alcohol with dried blood near his right ear and on his neck, a police report said. A family member said he had tried to cut his own throat.


In recent months, Aaron Ybarra swore off drinking, friends said. From December 2012 through December 2013, he went through an outpatient chemical dependency treatment program at Recovery Options Northwest, court records show.

Sober in recent months, he landed a job a few weeks ago at a Fred Meyer’s store in Lynnwood, bagging groceries and cleaning up.

“When I say we went out for a beer to celebrate his job, I had the beer; he had Dr Pepper,” McKinley said.

Friends noted Ybarra liked horror movies, and tried his hand at writing his own screenplays. Friend James Konecny said Ybarra once mentioned that he went on a Columbine website.

“He told me he’d go on there to do research,” Konecny said. “It was kind of odd, but I didn’t think much of it.”

Daisy Silver, another writer who’d known Ybarra for about a year, had swapped screenplays with him and often talked to him about movies. Most of Ybarra’s movie ideas were science fiction, she said.

“Aaron was awesome; he was the nicest person — super-quiet, super-funny,” she said … “I don’t feel like there were any flags.”

Gun-range employment

Ybarra worked for eight years at the Kenmore Shooting Range, before quitting in early 2012 to take a job at a restaurant, a 2012 probation report says.

Ybarra worked as a “trapper” — a job in which he kept score of trapshooting contests and cared for the machinery, said John Conderman, president of the board that oversees the range.

Trappers “don’t handle guns, they don’t shoot guns,” Conderman said. “It’s an entry-level job.” He had no first-hand contact with Ybarra but “did recognize him when I saw pictures.”

Conderman said the range didn’t know about Ybarra’s 2010 police encounter.

About that time the gun range started running background checks on all new employees, Conderman said.

“If he had something in his record like that we never would have hired him,” he said. “So we either hired him before that happened, or [the police] didn’t call us and let us know.”

The 2012 counselor’s report noted Ybarra said he “is aware of laws regarding gun possession” and “the guns have been removed from his parents’ home.”

Sympathy for the family

Jamie Schmidt, who lives next door to the Ybarra home, said that Ybarra took care of a cat that was living beneath the deck of the two homes.  Even though the cat wasn’t his, Ybarra made sure it was fed and became attached to it.

She hoped people would have sympathy for the family. “It’s a tragedy for them, as well as all of the victims,” Schmidt said.

After Thursday’s shootings, Ambrose Ybarra opened the door of the family’s modest Mountlake Terrace home with his wife, Janice, standing by his side.

“We just got home from work,” he told a reporter. “We don’t know anything.”

Asked if there’d been any tensions at home or if either son had seemed agitated or angry, Ambrose paused, then said:

“I don’t want to invade his privacy. We just need to sit down and talk. I’m a family man. I’m just trying to put my arms around my family right now.”

Staff reporters Mike Baker, Hal Bernton, Lewis Kamb, Susan Kelleher, Claudia Rowe, Jennifer Sullivan and Craig Welch reported this story, which was written by Kamb. Lewis Kamb: lkamb@seattletimes.com or 206-464-2932. Twitter: @lewiskamb

Information in this article, originally published June 6, 2014, was corrected June 7, 2014. In a previous version of this story, due to an editing error, Brett Vondra’s text message was mistakenly attributed to his sister, Jessica. Also, Aaron Rey Ybarra has not been charged. Rather, he is being held on probable cause.

GSK pays $105 million in settlement for alleged improper marketing of drugs — (MoneyLife)

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GSK reached a $105 million settlement agreement (its fifth so far) with 44 states and the District of Columbia for its promotion of anti-depressants Paxil and Wellbutrin and its asthma drug, Advair

GlaxoSmithKline LLC (GSK) has once again settled with regulators for alleged improper marketing of drugs for off-label uses. The company reached a $105 million settlement agreement this week with 44 states and the District of Columbia for its promotion of anti-depressants Paxil and Wellbutrin and its asthma drug, Advair. The settlement is the fifth it has had with regulators in recent years.

The complaint by the Attorneys General charged that GSK promoted Advair for the treatment of mild asthma when the FDA only approved it for treatment of more serious asthma conditions. Though doctors can prescribe medication for any reason, drug makers themselves cannot advertise medications for uses not approved by the FDA. The company, the complaint alleged, also concealed and misrepresented clinical studies that demonstrated Paxil’s ineffectiveness in treating children and teens with major depressive disorders and those that demonstrated a connection between Paxil and increased risk of suicidal thoughts and acts in adolescents. The company promoted Wellbutrin as a treatment for weight loss and sexual dysfunction through its “happy, horny, skinny pill” marketing campaign even though those were unapproved uses, regulators charged.

“Medical decisions are among the most personal and important decisions an individual makes, ‘’ said New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, “and drug companies should be held accountable for misleading claims made in advertising.”

Settlement details

Under the settlement, the company – which admitted no wrongdoing — is prohibited, among other things, from making claims that a GSK product is better, more effective or has less serious side effects than other drugs unless the claims have been backed up by “substantial evidence or substantial clinical experience. ‘’ The company is also prohibited from presenting favorable information or conclusions from a study that is inadequate in design and scope and has to acknowledge if it is a funding source when submitting the study for publication. In addition, it has to stop providing samples of GSK products to health care professionals who are expected to prescribe them for off-label uses.

The company also has to continue a program that reduces financial incentives for sales reps to engage in deceptive marketing and start ending direct payments to health care professional for speaking engagements and attendance at medical conferences.

Past history of trouble

This isn’t GSK’s first encounter with federal regulators on its marketing of Paxil and Wellbutrin for off-label use. In 2012 the company settled criminal charges it illegally marketed the drugs and withheld safety data from U.S. regulators. In that case, which regulators called the largest health care fraud in U.S. history, the company paid out $3 billion and entered (irony noted) into a corporate integrity agreement.

Other companies

In November, Johnson & Johnson agreed to a $2.2 billion settlement in an off-label use case involving its anti-psychotic drug Risperdal. And last July, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, which Pfizer acquired, paid out $490 million to settle an off-label case involving its organ transplant drug, Rapamune.

Read more here about issues surrounding off-label promotions of drugs.

Courtesy: TruthInAdvertising.org