Jury deliberates fate of woman accused in Springfield road rage death; used cough syrup defense

Published: Jun. 9, 2022 at 12:11 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 9, 2022 at 4:48 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - A jury is deliberating the fate of a woman accused in a deadly road rage crash in November of 2018.

Jurors did not reach a verdict on Thursday night, and went home for the evening. Jurors are expected to be back in court at 8:30 a.m. on Friday.

Elizabeth McKeown faces a first-degree murder charge in the death of Barbara Foster. Police say McKeown rear-ended Foster’s vehicle in traffic for moving too slowly near Sunshine and Campbell in November 2018. Investigators say McKeown lured Foster out of her car and ran her over. Foster died from her injuries at the hospital.

The defense argues McKeown had a side effect from drinking cough syrup to suppress a cough. Throughout the trial, the state worked to disprove McKeown’s addiction to cough syrup. They claim she was under the influence at the time of the crime.

“That idea of impairment versus psychosis, they are not the same thing,” described Prosecutor Emily Shook. “Plenty of people commit crimes while impaired by drugs or alcohol but are not suffering from psychosis. It is not the same thing.”

On Thursday, a clinical psychologist for the Missouri Department of Mental Health said McKeown had unspecified schizophrenia brought on by the medication.

”She was unable to understand what she was doing and the consequence of that action,” said Dr. Sarah Mielens, a clinical psychologist.

Prosecutors quickly attempted to discredit the diagnosis. They explained to the jury inconsistencies in McKeown’s mental evaluation.

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