By Raj Giri | June 25, 2007
The state prosecutor in the Chris Benoit investigation said Monday he has no plans to file criminal charges in the case, but whether the federal government does is an open question. "From our standpoint, I have no reason to believe there will be any criminal charges at the current time," Fayette County District Attorney Scott Ballard told The Associated Press. "What the federal government is going to do, it will be up to them." The doctor ended up missing, only to turn himself in the following Monday to face a federal charge in connection with a federal drug probe. Attorney Manny Arora said Dr. Phil Astin will face a single charge involving improperly prescribing medication. He further said that the doctor never prescribed steroids for Benoit despite published reports saying Benoit received prescriptions from Astin for up to a 10 month supply every 3-4 weeks for a year. "There's no connection and the indictments don't have a connection," Arora told the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Arora says his client is innocent of the charges and did not prescribe steroids to Benoit, who was his patient and friend for six years.
The Wrestling Observer is also reporting that Nancy Benoit met with Dr. Astin the day before her murder to try and gain information about treating her son Daniel. ESPN.com reported that District Attorney Scott Ballard said Daniel had needle marks on his arm. Pam Winthrope told News 1130 in Canada that Chris Benoit's son had Fragile X syndrome, which may explain why Daniel was taking growth hormone injections. Winthrope, whose son also suffers from the condition, told the Canadian news outlet that her husband reached out to Benoit five years ago in an attempt to increase awareness about Fragile X, which is a defect of the X chromosome which causes mild mental retardation.
It has also been reported that Chris Benoit and Nancy argued frequently in the days before the deaths on how to take care of their son. The couple argued over whether he should stay home more to take care of their mentally retarded 7-year-old son, an attorney for the wrestling league said Wednesday.
"I think it's fair to say that the subject of caring for that child was part of what made their relationship complicated and difficult, and it's something they were both constantly struggling with," said Jerry McDevitt, an attorney for World Wrestling Entertainment. "We do know it was a source of stress and consternation."
McDevitt said the wrestling organization learned from the couple's friends and relatives that the Benoits were struggling with where to send the boy to school since he had recently finished kindergarten. He also said Benoit's wife didn't want him to quit wrestling, but she "wanted him to be at home more to care for the kid. She'd say she can't take care of him by herself when he was on the road."
However, since then there have been additional reports that contradict the earlier information that suggested that Daniel Benoit may have suffered from Fragile X Syndrome. Daniel's family denies that he suffered from either condition. As a result of the family's concerns, the Fayette County Sheriff's investigators and the District Attorney's Office have inquired into this matter. A source having access to certain of Daniel's medical reports reviewed those reports, and they do not mention any pre-existing mental or physical impairment. Reports from Daniel's educators likewise contradict the claims that Daniel was physically undersized. The educators report that Daniel graduated kindergarten and was prepared to enter the first grade on par with the other students.
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