Lawyers Look to Blame Acne Medication for Murderous Teen’s Actions

February 27, 2018 Updated: February 27, 2018

Lawyers for a teen that committed murder last year, when he was 15-years-old, want to use the acne medication Accutane in his defense.

The court is now determining whether or not Aiden von Grabow will continue his case in the juvenile system or have it moved to an adult court.

At a court proceeding on Feb. 23, defense lawyers tried to bring in Dr. Doug Bremner as a witness. Bremner is known for his studies on Accutane. The Boulder deputy district attorney rejected Bremner and several other witnesses, the Times-Call reported.

Grabow is accused of murdering 20-year-old Makayla Grote on Nov. 18 when he stabbed her at her apartment. Prosecutors said he may have intended to kill Grote’s younger sister as well, who was taking a shower at the time, but then made herself inaccessible to Grabow by locking herself in another room. Investigators found a “death list” inside Grabow’s bedroom. The list also said Grabow was willing to kill anyone who interfered with his planned killing spree, an earlier Times-Call article reported.

Police found Grabow in his parent’s car, a mile from the third person on his list.

Accutane has long been controversial for its links with suicide and mental problems. A 2002, a New York Times article recalled cases linking the drug with harmful psychological side effects — in particular, the case of a 15-year-old boy who killed himself by flying a plane into the side of a Florida building.

The drug is prescribed for its effectiveness at treating severe acne. A YouTube search yields numerous videos of patients showing off the results of using the drug. Some are stories of people who stopped using the drug because there were not willing to deal with the side effects, some physical and some emotional.

The defense attorneys did not yet say whether or not Grabow actually used the drug.

Grabow, Grote, and her sister all attended Green Mountain High School in Lakewood, Colorado, at some point.



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