Steroids to be issue at trial of man accused of murdering Broward deputy

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    Post Steroids to be issue at trial of man accused of murdering Broward deputy


    Steroids to be issue at trial of man accused of murdering Broward deputy: South Florida Sun-Sentinel

    Steroids to be issue at trial of man accused of murdering Broward deputy

    By Vanessa Blum
    South Florida Sun-Sentinel

    February 15, 2007

    Lawyers for Kenneth Wilk said explicitly for the first time Wednesday they intend to raise questions at his murder trial about steroid use by the Broward Sheriff's Office deputy he is accused of killing.

    Wilk, 45, could face the death penalty if convicted of the Aug. 19, 2004, slaying of Deputy Todd Fatta. Federal prosecutors say Wilk lay in wait with a rifle and ambushed officers conducting a child pornography raid on his Fort Lauderdale home, killing Fatta and wounding Sgt. Angelo Cedeņo.

    A medical examiner detected two forms of anabolic steroids in samples taken from Fatta's body after his death, according to a lab report in the court record.

    At a hearing in Fort Lauderdale federal court, Wilk's attorney, William Matthewman, said his team is investigating whether Fatta, 33, was experiencing steroid-related aggression, or "roid rage," at the time he entered Wilk's home.

    Matthewman asked U.S. Magistrate Lurana Snow to order prosecutors to turn over evidence related to steroid use by Fatta and possibly other sheriff's deputies involved in the raid.

    Prosecutor Neil Karadbil opposed the request, which he called a "fishing expedition" and "character assassination."

    Snow said she needed more information before ruling. She asked defense lawyers to submit a sworn statement from a steroids expert by Feb. 26 explaining the scientific significance of the requested information.

    "It may well be relevant to know how long he'd been using and at what quantities," she said.

    Wilk has never denied shooting Fatta. His lawyers, Matthewman and J. Rafael Rodriguez, have indicated in court filings they intend to present a multi-layered defense, arguing Wilk was legally insane at the time of the shooting, did not intend to kill and that he reacted to possible aggression from Fatta.

    Prosecutors informed Wilk's lawyers in May 2005 that Fatta's name appeared on a list of people thought to have purchased steroids from a Deerfield Beach company without a valid prescription.

    The list of PowerMedica customers included at least eight Broward sheriff's deputies. All were cleared of wrongdoing in an internal investigation. The Internet pharmacy remains under investigation, Karadbil said.

    Prosecutors have agreed to turn over additional information about the quantity of steroids in Fatta's system when he died, but called evidence related to PowerMedica and any past steroid use by Fatta irrelevant.

    Anabolic steroids, artificial male hormones that promote muscle mass, are illegal in the United States unless prescribed by a doctor. While the drugs have valid medical uses, they also can cause aggression, impaired judgment and extreme mood swings.

    Harvard psychiatry professor Harrison G. Pope is expected to testify for the defense on the effects of steroids.

    Elliot Cohen, a Sheriff's Office spokesman, said Wilk alone is responsible for Fatta's death.

    "Nothing is ever going to change the fact that Kenneth Wilk hid behind a kitchen counter with a high-powered rifle and intentionally murdered a deputy," Cohen said.

    Wilk's case is set for trial April 2. His attorneys have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn rulings clearing prosecutors to seek the death penalty. The federal government must file a response with the Supreme Court today.

    Last week, Wilk's lawyers filed a civil lawsuit against the Sheriff's Office in Broward Circuit Court seeking evidence to use in the case, including a copy of the operational plan for the 2004 raid and personnel records for Fatta and other deputies.

    The Sheriff's Office turned down an earlier request for the records, citing the federal prosecution.

    In August, Fatta's parents filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the designers, makers and distributors of the protective vest that their son was wearing when he was shot. The complaint against Armor Holdings Inc., Safariland Government Sales, and Second Chance Body Armor Inc. seeks unspecified damages. The family previously filed wrongful-death claims against Wilk and the Sheriff's Office. Those cases are pending.

    Staff Writer Paula McMahon contributed to this report.

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    He killed him because he didn't want to go to prison for child porn.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayhawkk View Post
    He killed him because he didn't want to go to prison for child porn.

    Yep. Quite an interesting defense. (1) He was crazy; (2) He didn't mean to kill and (3) the cop was having "roid rage" and provoked the gunfire. Juries are full of idiots. This might work.
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    True.
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    This is an interesting defense strategy. Its not clear to what part the cop being a non- prescription steroid user, would have to do with vindicating the defendant, Are you allowed to shoot policemen in Broward county if they are using steroids?

    The only point I can take is maybe this guy was not a child pornographer and his home was mistakenly raided by an overly aggressive officer, then the defense team could at least claim it was not premeditated murder.

    Even though child pornography is repulsive the pursuit of these people should not be a breech of personal or property rights.

    Broward county is the home of the original Bad Boys -

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