Mom drunk when she killed four kids

Oct. 7, 2012 at 1:22 PM
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PORT ST. JOHN, Fla., Oct. 7 (UPI) -- A Florida mother who shot and killed her four children and then herself had twice the legal limit of alcohol in her blood, autopsy results showed.

Tonya Thomas, 33, of Port St. John, Fla., had a blood alcohol content of 0.16 percent. Toxicology experts said that level of intoxication would have impaired her judgment and could have played a role in the tragedy, Florida Today reported Saturday.

"It does reduce normal inhibitions, maybe that played some role in this as well, that in a sober state she may not have done this action," said Dr. Bruce Goldberger, a professor and the director of toxicology in the Department of Pathology, Immunology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Florida College of Medicine. "She was more free to act out."

Thomas killed her four children, ages 12, 13, 15 and 17 on May 15. Each suffered multiple wounds and three of the children tried escaping to a neighbor's house, only to be called back by their gun-wielding mother, who took her own life with a shot to the head after the children had died, police said.

No other foreign substances were found in Thomas' body, the coroner's said.

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