Trial begins for man accused in quadriplegic girlfriend's death

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Timothy Harrison is accused of killing his quadriplegic girlfriend nearly three years ago - by giving her a lethal dose of prescription medication.

But was it murder or something else? Something else is what the defense will likely suggest, according to attorney Anthony Rickman, who is not directly involved with the case, but reviewed it for FOX 13 News.

"There is no real defense to, 'I killed this person because they wanted me to kill them, or assist them in their death,'" Rickman explained.

He said the defense that will not work for Harrison's defense is, 'he did it because she wanted to end her life.'

"Remember Jack Kavorkian? He went to prison for assisting in suicides for killing another person and, let's say it wasn't pills. Let's say it was a gun. If you tell me, 'I want you to end my life by shooting me in the face,' I'm going to get charged with murder," explained Rickman, adding Harrison would still have to suffer the consequences, no matter if he used a gun or pills.

The prosecution, meanwhile, said as a quadriplegic, there is no way the victim could have opened a pill bottle or taken the medication herself. The medical examiner determined Harrison's girlfriend died of a lethal dose of
anti-depressants and ibuprofen.

Rickman said a possible explanation for the overdose could be, "it was an accident."

Rickman said the defense could argue Harrison didn't intend to kill her.

"He is the one taking care of her, the caregiver, he's the one providing her with the medication. Did he inadvertently provide her with too much medication? That would negate the intent element," said Rickman.