New trial granted for man in Zoloft case
Tue, 27 Jul 2010 19:17:35 GMT —
A judge has ordered a new trial for a South Carolina man who was 12 years old when prosecutors say he shot his grandparents to death and set their Chester County home on fire.
Circuit Judge Roger Young wrote in an order issued Tuesday that Christopher Pittman's trial attorneys should have aggressively pursued a deal under which their client could have pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter.
Instead, a jury in 2005 found Pittman guilty of two counts of murder in the deaths of Joe and Joy Pittman. He was tried as an adult and sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Pittman's trial attorneys blamed Zoloft that the boy had been taking for his crimes, saying the antidepressant caused him to become manic.
No new trial date has been set for Pittman, who is now 21.
Related Stories:Hearing resumes for man who blames drug for deaths - Thursday, August 27, 2009 The first attorney to represent a 12-year-old South Carolina boy who killed his grandparents and set their house on fire is testifying for prosecutors. SC man who blames drug for deaths wants new trial - Wednesday, August 26, 2009The South Carolina man sentenced to 30 years in prison for killing his grandparents wants a new trial.