AP: Some Tests In Benoit Case Complete, Officials Mum On Results

The following article was written by the Associated Press:

Some tests in Benoit case complete, officials mum on results

Associated Press Writer

ATLANTA – Some of the chemical tests on the bodies of pro wrestler Chris Benoit, his wife and son have been completed, but officials were mum Tuesday on what the results show.

A spokesman for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, John Bankhead, told The Associated Press that his agency was waiting for all the tests to be complete before sharing the results with investigators in Fayette County.

“We’re going to discuss what we find with local investigators and they can determine what they want to release,” Bankhead said.

District Attorney Scott Ballard did not immediately return a page to his cell phone seeking comment.

Police have said Benoit strangled his wife and son, placing Bibles next to the bodies, and then hung himself on a piece of exercise equipment in his suburban Atlanta home the weekend of June 22.
Authorities found anabolic steroids in Benoit’s home, leading officials to wonder whether the drugs played a role in the killings. Some experts believe steroids can cause paranoia, depression and violent outbursts known as “roid rage.”

Since the deaths, toxicology tests have been conducted on Benoit’s body to determine if steroids or other drugs were present. Blood-alcohol tests also were conducted on his body, and chemical tests were conducted on the bodies of the wife and son, Bankhead said. The wife’s body was decomposed, preventing some tests on her body from being done, though Bankhead declined to be specific.

The GBI has been handling the testing for general drugs and alcohol, while an outside lab was hired to do the testing for steroids, Bankhead said. He declined to name the lab or say which of the tests have been completed.

“There is going to be some interpretation of what was found,” Bankhead said, without elaborating.

A federal agent’s affidavit said Benoit’s personal doctor, Phil Astin, prescribed a 10-month supply of anabolic steroids to Benoit every three to four weeks between May 2006 and May 2007. It says that during a probe called “RX Weight Loss,” Benoit was identified as an excessive purchaser of injectable steroids.

The affidavit also says that “Astin has been the subject of concern for excessive and/or suspicious prescribing activity by the Carrollton, Ga. Police Department and local area pharmacies.”

Authorities have not said what “RX Weight Loss” refers to.

Astin has told the AP he prescribed testosterone for Benoit, a longtime friend, in the past but has not said what, if any, medications he prescribed when Benoit visited his office June 22, the day authorities believe Benoit killed his wife.

Last week, Astin was charged in a federal indictment with improperly prescribing medication to two other patients, but not Benoit. Prosecutors have said more charges are possible.

Astin pleaded not guilty at his first court appearance. His lawyer, Manny Arora, told AP on Monday that Astin has no plans at this time to change his plea to guilty, but he didn’t rule out the idea down the road. A pretrial hearing in Astin’s case is set for July 19.

A sheriff’s official said Friday that Astin also is being investigated in the February 2006 death of another wrestler, Michael Durham. Ballard has not returned calls seeking comment on the status of that case.

WrestlingNewsWorld.com – Full Coverage Of The Benoit Tragedy >