Judge to decide if jury will hear 'roid rage' defense

- Murder defendant Keith Dukes says steroids were to blame when he killed his wife.

Dukes is accused of stabbing his wife with a box cutter before hunting her down at a neighbor's house and shooting her in front of some of their children.

At a hearing Wednesday afternoon, Dukes' defense team told a judge their client was on a triple-dose testosterone medication the day of the murder and "roid rage" drove him over the edge.

Dr. Daniel Buffington, a forensic pharmacologist described some of the side effects of the drug.

"You can have confusion, aggression, irritability, and that can occur in low doses or high, " said Buffington.

The doctor also agreed Dukes' behavior the day of the murder was consistent with the drug's adverse side effects.

"Yes, it would be my professional opinion that the aggressive, hostile, and violent behavior exhibited by Mr. Dukes is consistent with established, testosterone-induced adverse side effects," explained Buffington.

Prosecutor Scott Harmon tried to discredit the doctor's testimony with his own expert.

Dr. Emily Lazarou, a psychiatrist in Tampa says Dukes' history of domestic violence coupled with the low-dose of steroids leads her to only one conclusion:

"I don't believe it was affected at all by his use of testosterone," said Lazarou.

Hillsborough Judge Samantha Ward is expected to rule soon on whether the steroid defense will be heard by a jury.

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