Attorneys for a teenager accused of murdering a friend last year suggested Friday that their client may have behaved erratically due to side effects from his Accutane prescription.
According to Newsweek, the legal team of Aiden von Grabow, 15, hinted in a Boulder, CO court hearing last week that isotretinoin—the generic name for the popular acne medication—may be presented as the cause of his alleged actions.
Von Grabow has been charged with first-degree murder and 10 additional counts for the fatal stabbing of Makayla Grote, 20, on November 18, 2017. She was murdered at her Longmont home with a hunting knife.
Police found a “death list” in von Grabow’s bedroom. Grote’s younger sister’s name was recorded at the top. She is believed by investigators to have been von Grabow’s initial target when he entered the Grote apartment, but she was in the shower at the time and locked herself in a different room.
Times-Call reveals that the defense intends to call Dr. Doug Bremner, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University, to testify on his research linking isotretinoin to depression, aggression, and rare cases of psychosis.
A Boulder district attorney argued that days before Grote’s death, von Grabow threatened and assaulted family members. Homemade bombs were also found in his possession.
The Denver Post adds that about one month prior to the murder, police investigated a troubling text message conversation between von Grabow and Grote’s sister in which the “death list” is mentioned.
Next week, prosecutors will attempt to have the case moved out of juvenile court in an effort to try von Grabow as an adult.
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration notes that patients taking isotretinoin should be monitored for suicidal thoughts or actions, mood disturbance, psychosis, or aggression.