Antidepressant-Alcohol Mix May Have Fueled Suicidal Marine’s Crowbar Murder of Camp Pendleton Roommate

Defense Wants Psychiatric Witnesses for Defendant in Marine Killing

Attorneys for a Marine accused of bludgeoning his Camp Pendleton roommate to death last fall want behavioral and medical experts to testify on his behalf.

Lance Cpl. Darren Evans shown in March with military-appointed defense attorneys Rebecca Harvey and Paul Atterbury. Witnesses say Evans, 20, was suicidal, taking prescribed antidepressants and drinking heavily when he took a crowbar and beat to death his barracks roommate Lance Cpl. Mario Arias Jr. (Daniel Woolfolk/

The defense team for Lance Cpl. Darren Evans presented two of those witnesses to a military judge at Camp Pendleton on Tuesday. The defense is seeking an order approving their testimony and payment of the fees for their pretrial work.

Evans, 20, is accused of premeditated murder in the Nov. 6 death of Lance Cpl. Mario Arias Jr.

Prosecutors say a drunken Evans used the claw at the end of a crowbar on Arias as he slept in the room they shared at the base.

The prosecution has alleged that Evans was apparently upset with Arias for confronting him about excessive drinking.

During Tuesday’s brief hearing, psychiatrist Peter Breggin told the judge that he believes exhaustive background research on Evans is required and that he and another specialist can do that work.

Breggin is a considered an expert on antidepressant drugs and how they may contribute to increased suicide and violence in the military. He also has expertise in how antidepressants interact with alcohol.

Testimony at an earlier hearing showed that Evans had consumed a large amount of alcohol before Arias was killed, and had recently been prescribed antidepressants after threatening suicide over problems with a girlfriend.

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One Response

  1. Antidepressants are very dangerous drugs with long term evidence that they reduce the frontal lobe of the brain. An intervention that allows their soldiers to give themselves a lobotomy type intervention.The research was posted on the Army Times months ago; however, the behavioral health system continues to prescribe them. Psychiatry and the BigPharmas can take credit for many suicides and for causing much grief, pain and suffering for our Injured Warriors and their Families. When will they be investigated for using these chemicals knowing their multiple side effects and causing great harm to their/our patients?

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