Antibiotics Cause VA Cop to Stab 2, Shoot 1
First there was the Twinkie defense, and now there's the antibiotic defense.
Bradley Colas, a cop from Virginia Beach, has been charged with two counts of felony assault for stabbing two firefighters and shooting another. The violence happened after the off-duty officer slammed his car into a tree as he drove to Philadelphia.
He was on his way to see Jesus and believes rescuers were evil demons out to get him.
His attorney blames prescription antibiotics.
The antibiotic defense is a novel one, but it isn't wholly unfounded. Bradley Colas was prescribed Biaxin to help treat a case of bronchitis, explains WTKR-TV. Hallucinations and psychosis are rare but identified side effects of the medication.
Before the accident, Colas had been sending strange emails to friends and family. He thought demons were after him. Just after he stabbed and shot at the firefighters, WAVY-TV reports he jumped on the fire truck and demanded they take him to see Jesus.
There were no drugs or alcohol in his system, and upon evaluation, a court psychiatrist diagnosed him with Brief Psychotic Disorder. And even though he has stopped taking the medication, there is "still evidence of residual impairment."
Prosecutors have charged Colas, but this diagnosis may relieve him of any liability. Colas can plead insanity, and argue that, at the time of the crime, he suffered from a mental disease or defect. He can further claim that disease or defect that impaired his ability to distinguish right from wrong and/or made him unable to control his impulses.
As long as the evidence underlying the antibiotic defense is true, Bradley Colas should go free.
- Va. officer charged with stabbing two firefighters (Associated Press)
- Current Application of the Insanity Defense (FindLaw)
- What Is the Insanity Defense? (FindLaw Blotter)