Many have analogized this defense to the “twinkie defense” in the trial of defendant Dan White in the 1970s.
The defense is based on Smith’s use of sodas, energy drinks and diet pills that allegedly left him mentally unstable.
Smith allegedly used an extension cord to strangle his wife on May 4, 2009, then tied her hands and feet together.
This is not the first use of such a caffeine based defense. In 2009, a man successfully used the claim after he ran down and injured two people in Washington state. Called the “Starbucks defense” in that case, Dan Noble was able to show that his ingestion of caffeine left him rambling and out of control. He was tasered by police at the scene.
These cases are based on the notion of “caffeine intoxication.” However, this is the first case that I know of involving a murder. Prosecutors have indicated that they will challenge the assertion that Smith consumed diet pills and energy drinks. They have noted that he tested negative for amphetamine-type substances after his arrest.