Jurors deny cough syrup defense in road rage killing

June 12, 2022 GMT

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri woman has been convicted in a road rage killing after jurors rejected defense arguments that she suffered from cough syrup-induced psychosis.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that jurors found 50-year-old Elizabeth McKeown guilty Friday of first-degree murder in the death of 57-year-old Barbara Foster.

Police say McKeown was on the way to the bank to make a car payment in November 2018 when she rear-ended Foster because Foster wasn’t driving fast enough.

When Foster exited her vehicle and called 911 to report the crash, police say, McKeown backed up, then ran over Foster, dragging her under the vehicle. McKeown attempted to drive away but was blocked off at the next intersection by other witness drivers.

Assistant Greene County Prosecutor Dane Rennier described what happened as a “brutal murder.” The prosecutors said McKeown knowingly took more than the recommended amount of over-the-counter cough syrup.

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McKeown’s attorney Jon Van Arkel said McKeown did not purposefully take the cough syrup to “get any sort of high or euphoria, her intent was to suppress her cough.”

McKeown’s liver could not metabolize the dextromethorphan from the cough syrup correctly, which in turn altered her state of mind, Van Arkel said.

Foster’s granddaughters, Emileigh Sahagun, said the verdict was “what I needed to hear.”