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NY trooper thought Kennedy had medical problem


WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) -- A New York state trooper testified Tuesday at Kerry Kennedy's drugged-driving trial that he was concerned she might have suffered a seizure or stroke after her car swerved into a truck in 2012.

Trooper Bradley Molloy said Kennedy passed several drug tests that he administered at the police station. The tests included having Kennedy follow the tip of a pen with her eyes, stand on one leg and touch the tip of her finger to her nose, Molloy said.

Kennedy told the trooper that she had consumed some carrots and a cappuccino that morning and had slept about eight hours the night before. Molloy said Kennedy also told him she was concerned that she might have accidentally taken a sleeping pill instead of her thyroid medication. She said she had Ambien and the thyroid pills next to each other in her medicine cabinet.

"The defendant was not impaired by any drug," Molloy said. "I feel she may have suffered a medical condition while driving."

Molloy said Kennedy was polite and cooperative.

A forensic toxicologist testified later Tuesday that most people experience the effects of Ambien within 15 to 45 minutes of taking it. But Elizabeth Spratt, a prosecution witness who works for the Westchester County Department of Laboratories and Research, said it can take up to two hours for the drug to take effect.

Spratt said the effects include sleepiness, poor motor coordination and headaches. The drug can also cause amnesia, meaning that many people don't remember much after they've taken Ambien, she said.

On Monday, a North Castle town police officer, Joel Thomas, said he had administered four field sobriety tests, involving eye movements, walking and turning, reciting part of the alphabet and standing on one leg. Kennedy only passed one, reciting the alphabet from J to T, he said.

Kennedy is the ex-wife of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, daughter of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and niece of President John F. Kennedy. Her mother, Ethel Kennedy, and a sister, Rory Kennedy, were both in the courtroom.

On Monday, motorists testified that Kennedy swerved her Lexus into a truck, damaging the car and blowing a tire, but kept driving and later was slumped at her steering wheel and disoriented.

In his opening statement, defense lawyer Gerald Lefcourt said Kennedy was not disputing that she drove erratically. But he said it happened because Kennedy accidentally took an Ambien sleeping pill that morning instead of her thyroid medication.

Prosecutor Stefanie DeNise said even if Kennedy took the sleeping pill accidentally, she violated the law by failing to stop when she felt its effects.

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David Finn February 25 2014 at 8:18 PM

This whole thing is much about nothing. She is not the only person to have ever driven under the influence of precription drugs. What about other illegal drugs. Even the ones that have been made legal recently. People think because it is legal that they can drive under the influence of these drugs. Doctors and Pharmasists are not properly instructing people about these drugs.

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dpbeach03 David Finn February 25 2014 at 8:39 PM

I worked on a hospital sponsored doctor(s) office for several years. I am scared to drive. I'd rather get in a car at 3:00 am with a bunch of drunks than know what I know now. The amount of people on pain, antidepressant, tranquilizer and even anti-seizure (a lot of time in combination) meds astounds me. People that can't walk to their car are driving, admit they got lost on the way there, and to routine places, are out at the wheel. Doctors are afraid to interfere (no-one wants to get sued). Nascar, I think is probably safer. At least you know what you're dealing with.

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BARBARA February 26 2014 at 10:00 AM

Enough with "celebrity status people" avoiding accountability for their actions!!!

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foxcpa123 February 26 2014 at 10:01 AM

I think most of us can see the hand writing on the wall on this case! If Uncle Teddy got away with what he did surely she will not go down for taking the wrong pill.

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JACK February 26 2014 at 10:04 AM

If everyone is so eager to throw the taxpayers money in this debate I'll toss in a big one. I resent that my money was wasted on a search that cost the taxpayers hundreds of millions and even involved the US Navy. Yes, I'm refering to John Jr. Correct me if I'm wrong but he was a private citizen from a wealthy family. Why then should the tax dollars pay for such an exhaustive search for him? Is he considered a more valuable citizen than you or me? Could his family afford resources not available to most? If your family member were lost at sea could you expect even 1/50 of the same tanisity that was given to him? My main point to all of this is that equality dose not exist in our country. If it had been a 23 year old young man impaired while driving these comments would read very differently. All you folks saying just drop it, would that be the case for that young man? Oh, and for the record I hold no person or family above me or mine. I put no one on a pedistal no matter how wealthy.........

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lbn78 February 26 2014 at 10:10 AM

Oh no! Not another one! Where do all these Kennedy's come from?

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1 reply
timothytd777 lbn78 February 26 2014 at 10:24 AM

If it weren't for two of the Kennedys, you nor I wouldn't be here, eejut!

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roccomjzz February 26 2014 at 10:14 AM

Kennedys have being getting away with things for you. If this was some regular Joe He would have his license revoked or be in mail. Two different justices. SAD

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Megan Katherine February 25 2014 at 6:51 PM

She will walk on this. Great "defense" her team came up with, though. "I mixed up my pills, yep, that's it!!" That's why lawyers make the big bucks.

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mphseason February 26 2014 at 9:48 AM

...and if her name was Cruz, Yeh, Mohamad or Jackson....would this be extended like this ??? You want to prosecute people, go after these Wall Street crooks, political cronies from have been on the public tab for years.....fluff trial....imo

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wilsonkoi February 25 2014 at 6:50 PM

I think most people know it is not safe to get in a car with a Kennedy.

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sstuczynsk February 26 2014 at 10:26 AM

She is a Kennedy. She will go free. Money buys a lot especially if your name is Kennedy.

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