Murder defendant can use 'roid rage' defense, judge rules

Impulsiveness, aggression, and dangerous behavior -- That is how murder defendant Keith Dukes says steroids made him feel when he hunted down his wife Michelle and killed her.  Now a jury will get to hear his claim.  

Hillsborough Circuit Judge Samantha Ward ruled Dukes’ steroid use and its dangerous side effects will be part of evidence at trial.

Attorney Anthony Rickman, who is not connected to the case, reviewed the case for FOX 13. “One of those side effects could be heightened rage, which then lead to the defendant’s state of mind in acting in the way he did.”

It has been three years since Michelle Dukes fought for her life after prosecutors say Dukes stabbed her during an argument and then chased her to a neighbor’s house.  Police say Dukes shot and killed Michelle in front of his two daughters as they hid in a neighbor’s closet.

Now Dukes’ defense team says the steroids made him do it.

At a hearing this past May, Dukes’ attorneys told a judge Dukes was on a triple-dose of testosterone medication the day of the murder and "roid rage" drove him over the edge.

The trial will probably include a battle of the experts, but under the judge’s ruling, the doctors will not be able to give their opinion on whether the steroid use led to the murders.