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Babysitter shares marijuana cookie with mother, then stabs her to death, blaming murder on 'adverse reaction' to the drug: police

Image Source: WBRE-TV screenshot

A man in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, who brutally stabbed a woman to death with a kitchen knife is blaming his actions on a "bad trip" resulting from marijuana cookies.

Lavrius O'Brian Watson, 26, was charged with one count of criminal homicide over the weekend in the death of Elizabeth Bennett Leonard, 41, the Pocono Record reported.

Watson, who had reportedly known Leonard for seven years, was babysitting her two children when he allegedly committed the heinous crime.

Pennsylvania State Police reported that officers responded to reports of a domestic disturbance in the early morning hours on Saturday. According to charging documents obtained by the Citizens' Voice, Watson had allegedly called 911 requesting emergency medical assistance, telling the dispatcher that "somebody got killed."

When police arrived, they reportedly found Watson covered in blood and Leonard unresponsive from "obvious traumatic injuries." Leonard was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to the court documents, Watson told investigators that he had been watching Leonard's children on Friday night. After dinner, the pair shared marijuana cookies in the kitchen before Watson abruptly grabbed a kitchen knife and stabbed Leonard at least five times in the stomach, he said.

He allegedly argued that he doesn't fully remember the act but recalls getting up from his seat and heading over to a drawer containing knives. He claimed that he had an "adverse reaction" to the drug.

The Pocono Record reported that Watson was "audibly crying" on the 911 call and when police arrived at the home, he could be heard repeatedly murmuring, "Why did I do that?"

When asked if anyone else was at the home at the time of the incident, police said Leonard's 10-year-old son was present but unharmed. Leonard's other child had reportedly left the home that afternoon.

Following an autopsy, the Luzerne County Coroner's Office confirmed that she died of "multiple stab wounds" to the abdomen.

Police arrested Watson and charged him with murder. He has been denied bail and is now being held in Luzerne County Prison awaiting a preliminary hearing on Oct. 28.

The Philly Voice reported that "marijuana edibles have sometimes loosely been blamed for aggressive or erratic behavior, in part because the method of ingestion, compared to smoking, may tempt users to take more than they can handle."

"The effect of the drug is delayed when ingested, which may prompt people to eat more before they feel intoxicated," the outlet added.

It is unclear whether such an adverse reaction can be proven in a court of law or whether it can be successfully employed as a defense.

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