Man Accused of Locust Avenue Quadruple Fatal Shooting Appears in Court
By Kim Freda, Assignment Editor
Posted: Sep 17, 2013
A Fairmont man facing four counts of first degree murder in the July 26 shooting deaths on Locust Avenue in Clarksburg appeared in Harrison County court for a mental competency hearing Tuesday.
Public Defender Wiley Newbold told Judge James Matish that Sidney Muller, 27, suffers from four of the five symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and that Muller regularly visits the Veterans Affairs hospital. Newbold said VA records reflect that Muller suffers from a history of mental illness and is on several prescription drugs for PTSD. Newbold also told Judge Matish that Muller receives a disability check.
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Does PTSD cause violence? Sometimes. We have to face that reality. Sometimes they are paranoid and feel threatened enough to react. Those times they usually overcome the feeling to lash out and they walk away. Rare times they unfortunately lack the self control they used to have. Usually they punch someone out but sometimes, they commit murder. PTSD is not an excuse for murder because the simple fact is, the majority of veterans with PTSD are more dangerous to themselves.
It is complicated but does not make a very good headline for the press to get attention. There are different causes and different levels and just as many types as you can think of but it is all too easy to just use the four letters of PTSD.
There are some wanting to use the word "victim" but they are survivors and it is time to start getting that right at least. They are not victims of a hurricane, tornado, fire or flood. If they died then they were a victim but if they survived, then they are a survivor. They are not victims of crimes if they lived because they were stronger than the criminal. They are not victims if their job sends them rushing into situations everyone else is running away from. They are survivors! It is the same thing with veterans. They survived what too few others have known.
It is time for people to have an honest discussion about what PTSD is and what it is not just as much as it is time for the press to rethink when they have to add in PTSD when they report on a criminal act.