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Red Bull Murder Defense is "Crap," Says Fla. Victim's Son

Stephen Coffeen
WTSP
Fla. Murder Victim's Son Says 'Red Bull' Defense "Is Crap"
Stephen Coffeen (WTSP)

(CBS/WTSP) Attorneys for a California man claim sleep deprivation and Red Bull energy drinks caused him to have a psychotic episode and smother his 83-year-old father with a pillow during a visit in St. Petersburg, Fla. two years ago.

Tom Coffeen, brother of accused murderer, Stephen Coffeen, says that those allegations absurd, according to CBS affiliate WTSP.

"It's crap," Tom Coffeen told ABC News. "I don't even think the man even drank Red Bull. They cannot 100% tell me he did not know what he was doing."

Tom was reportedly in Orlando when he received a call from his brother, who was watching their elderly father, Robert, in his St. Petersburg home. Tom Coffeen says Stephen told him to come home immediately. When Tom got to his father's home, Stephen wouldn't let him in and said they had to talk, reports WTSP.

According to Tom, Stephen, who lives in California and hadn't seen their father in more than 10 years, started saying, "Dad is evil. Dad is evil." He says his brother then admitted that he did kill their father and said it was in self-defense.

But after Stephen was arrested and charged with second degree murder, his attorney George Tragos changed from self defense to an insanity defense, claiming his client snapped after arriving from California.

Tom says his brother is an intelligent man who is very manipulative. He believes Stephen is telling the psychologists what they want to hear.

If the judge accepts the insanity defense, Stephen Coffeen will go to Chattahoochee mental institution for a minimum of six months.