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View Full Version : DXM News: "Lab tests varied in deaths of children"

04-28-2004, 05:40 AM
Mods, please move to appropriate forum. I'll post an analysis on this case, which I have been following, later today.

http://rockymountainnews.com/drmn/local/ar...2833127,00.html (http://rockymountainnews.com/drmn/local/article/0,1299,DRMN_15_2833127,00.html)

Lab tests varied in deaths of children
Cough syrup levels in 2 kids questioned

By Sarah Huntley, Rocky Mountain News
April 24, 2004

Lab tests on two children who may have died from fatal doses of cough syrup from their father came up with widely differing results, according to court filings Friday.

Robert "Raffie" Henderson, 30, is scheduled to stand trial May 10 on charges of assault and child abuse resulting in the deaths of his two children, Robert "Killian" Henderson, 5, and his sister, Rhapsody Henderson, 4.

The young siblings were found dead in their beds on Aug. 8, 2002, in the 16100 block of East Bethany Place in Aurora.

Prosecutors contend Henderson gave his children lethal doses of cherry-flavored Smart Choice Night Time Cold Medicine. The bottle warned against giving the syrup to children under 12.

Arapahoe County Coroner Michael Dobersen ruled the deaths were the result of "acute intoxication" caused by the interaction of four ingredients found in the medication: pseudoephedrine, doxylamine, acetaminophen and dextromethorphan.

Robert Middleberg, director of National Medical Services in Philadelphia and a pediatric toxicologist, tested blood drawn from the bodies of the children for the defense. Middleberg's test results, outlined in documents filed in Arapahoe County District Court on Friday, confirmed that both children consumed cough syrup before they died.

But Middleberg found higher levels of pseudoephedrine - 78 percent higher in Killian and 21 percent higher in Rhapsody - than those detected by El Paso County toxicologist Joseph Levisky.

The levels of doxylamine detected by Middleberg were less than Levisky's findings. Middleberg's results showed levels 63 percent lower in Killian and 23 percent lower in Rhapsody.

The differences are "beyond that expected by statistical analytical variation," Middleberg said in his report.

The dueling lab results are certain to come under the proverbial microscope at trial. The prosecution's expert, Levisky, has been the subject of allegations in recent weeks by defense attorneys who say he intentionally used up most of the blood and all of the tissue samples to prevent any outside check on his work.

The children's autopsies were conducted by Dobersen in Arapahoe County but the coroner contracts with the El Paso laboratory for toxicology testing. Levisky headed the lab until February when he retired.

Henderson's lawyers, Jim Castle and Judy Lucero, want a judge to throw out the case based on what they allege is destruction of evidence and outrageous government conduct. Without additional samples, they say, they cannot conduct more tests, which could reveal alternate causes of death.

Prosecutors have denied the allegations against Levisky, saying he was following standard procedures that call for additional tests "whenever possible" to confirm initial findings. Dobersen defended Levisky's decision to retest specimens that had been requested by the defense, saying Levisky wanted to make sure the samples had not deteriorated chemically over time.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Robert Chappell and Deputy District Attorney Melissa Weyant contend the remaining samples are sufficient to test. They announced Thursday an 11th-hour plan to resubmit samples to another lab for one more analysis a little more than two weeks before trial.

Defense attorneys, meanwhile, are hoping to prove the levels of cough syrup found in the children were not fatal. Middleberg said both his levels and Levisky's were consistent with therapeutic doses.

A second defense expert, renowned forensic toxicologist and author Michael Baden, echoed Middleberg's conclusions, calling Dobersen's findings "a diagnosis in itself so unique and unusual in the experience of physicians and in the medical literature as to raise immediate concerns as to its validity."

In a report also filed Friday, Baden said he would have ruled the cause of the children's death "undetermined."

"All the toxicology proves is that the children had taken a cold medicine, as hundreds of thousands of children do every day, not that the cough medicine caused death," Baden wrote.

Infected Method
04-28-2004, 07:55 PM
Yet another dumb ass overdose relating to anti-histamines..
When will people learn that anti-histamines are teh evil? .. never?

Oh, yea and psuedoephedrine.. pfft thats some sick shit. :crazy:

04-29-2004, 01:08 AM
I'm so sick of hearing that story on the local news on the time and listening to them warn about cough syrup, i wish they would just get the fuckin facts straight already

04-29-2004, 11:53 AM
Well, its nice to see someone close to my home has decided to fuck people that like dxm, but getting more bs blamed on it.

who the fuck names their kid rhapsody?

04-29-2004, 06:22 PM
This is ridiculous. WHY the HELL would someone do that? If Dex gets made illegal because of stupid pricks like this it would be a tragedy.