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MARKETPLACE:  Auto | Jobs | People Search | Personals | Travel | Yellow Pages  February 17, 2005
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Teen claims Zoloft led him to kill his grandparent
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CHARLESTON, S.C. A teen accused of shooting to death his grandparents as they slept is blaming his actions on an antidepressant.

Christopher Pittman's lawyer says Zoloft led the teen to kill his grandparents with a shotgun in November 2001, when he was 12.

The lawyer said during opening statements in the teen's trial that Pittman was a "shy, decent boy" who acted under the influence of a "mind-altering drug."

Prosecutors say Pittman shot his grandparents because they disciplined him for fighting on a schoolbus. He's charged as an adult with murder.

The teen had been put on Zoloft three weeks before the killings. His dose had been doubled just two days earlier.

The government in October ordered antidepressants to carry a warning about increased risk of suicidal behavior in kids. Zoloft-maker Pfizer has fought cases claiming antidepressants cause such behavior.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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