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Ashland killer says marijuana use might have played role

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) - A man found guilty by reason of insanity in the stabbing death of Ashland partygoer now says marijuana use might have contributed to psychotic delusions.
 
Pedro Sabalsa-Mendez made the suggestion during a hearing last week before the Oregon Psychiatric Security Review Board. The Mail Tribune obtained an audio recording.
 
Sabalsa-Mendez killed 20-year-old Avi Feldman at party on Nov. 6, 2016. A witness said Sabalsa-Mendez had been acting strangely at the party. He then stabbed Feldman while yelling "Suicide!"
 
Prosecutor Laura Cromwell handled the Sabalsa-Mendez case. She says it's not uncommon for Oregon State Hospital patients and their attorneys to argue symptoms were triggered by drug use. The argument could win a patient's release.
 
Anticipating the possibility, Cromwell had Sabalsa-Mendez sign a statement in August that "neither controlled substances nor alcohol played a substantial role" in his actions.
 
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Information from: Mail Tribune, http://www.mailtribune.com/


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