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NY trooper thought Kennedy had medical problem



By

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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resilient1 February 26 2014 at 4:51 PM

Be nice DCD and stay on subject. I said: Obviously she didn't intentionally take an ambian and go for a drive. We all make mistakes and I'm sure she won't make that one again. Let her live in peace. As for all the Kennedy comments, the only reason she's in the news is because she is a Kennedy... It seems to me she isn't getting away with anything. Instead she is being singled out and publically ridiculed. So sad...

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kathyb2469 February 26 2014 at 12:31 PM

Again, how does this woman recite the alphabet, walk, turn around, etc., if she's just been in an accident and under the influence of ambien. It's actually embarassing that they're using that as her excuse.

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bluezwmn February 26 2014 at 7:00 PM

I have a friend who used Ambien and got up and cooked a meal, not realizing he was doing so. His mother found him in bed the next morning with food strewn all over, and he had absolutely no recollection of this. My doctor prescribed it for me for short-term use, and after several days, I told her I didn't like it and asked her to find a substitution as my husband told me I had sleep walked. I don't remember a thing...

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kathyb2469 February 26 2014 at 12:29 PM

If she accidentally took an ambien that morning she would've fallen asleep. They're just fishing for excuses. Let's blame it on a sleeping pill. How was she able to stand on one leg and touch her nose if she was that disoriented. Anyone who believes this nonsense needs to have their head examined.

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gudtip February 26 2014 at 12:08 PM

as much as I don't care for most of the Kenedy's I believe it was an honest mistake, some meds look the same size and same color.

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Terri February 26 2014 at 12:05 PM

Well she is a Kennedy after all , look at what Ted did all those years ago & got away with it . Killed his personal assistant that was pregnant with his child from all the gossip , but then gossip is like wild fire it travels fast & burns faster as it goes . No one knows what happen all those years ago except him , the assisant , & God . He's no longer here & when he was he never spoke of the tragic accident , or was it an accident ..... we will never know now just look at the way he died from brain cancer , that was a horrible way to go......... maybe KARMA came back to bite him in the butt , we all have to pay the piper some day & face God , he has done both . Besides if she is found guilty from my understanding she will have to pay court cost & then what ever sentence they put on her . Besides all this publicity is all negetive not positive , so she looses either way , that's the way I see it .

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tcroof February 26 2014 at 11:48 AM

Check the cops bank account, I'm sure it has a major deposit for a very favorable comment from the doc/cop. You know they'll do nothing so why are they wasting tax payers money on having a trail, if her uncle can get away with murder surely she get away with this crime.

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citsitra February 26 2014 at 11:43 AM

She's a nut job and should have her licence revolked! WHo doesn't know your having a problem when your driving??? Good thing Andrew Cuomo divorced that nut job! She was fooling around on him and she probably told him she didn't know that either! I don't know about you...but I am sick of the Kenndys!!!

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compq118 February 26 2014 at 11:40 AM

"American Royalty", give me a break!

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Michael February 26 2014 at 11:32 AM

Jus like Patrick Kennedy.....she blames Ambien. Classic.

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WildMtHoney888 February 26 2014 at 11:26 AM

If she was just a no name we never hear about this case. But she is a Kennedy so it gets attention.
Many have taken sleeping pills and sleep drove. They are not aware they are doing it. Its a real problem that should be addressed.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3227709/
Not by locking people up in jail. Having better locks that the sleep walker is not used to unlocking. You switch things around. Or move the car keys. And to avoid taking the wrong med's. Never use the pill box with your other meds. Keep them separate by the bed in a nightstand.

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