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Family Of 7-Eleven Robbery Suspect Says Prescription Drugs To Blame

Reported by: Send eMail Taisha Walker
Videographer: John Tincher
Reported: Jun. 18, 2014 9:08 PM EDT
Updated: Jun. 18, 2014 9:25 PM EDT

Robbery Suspect Speaks
Eyewitness News Photo

Campbells Creek , Kanawha County , West Virginia

A Campbells Creek man was arrested Wednesday and charged in an armed robbery in Rand.

The family of James McCune Jr. said the robbery at the 7-Eleven wasn't entirely his fault. McCune's sister Dawn Burns said the doctor who prescribed McCune anti-anxiety pills is also to blame.

Charleston Police offers said McCune brought a knife into the convenience store, demanded money and then took off. But Burns said her brother wasn't in his right state of mind due to prescription drugs.

"Last night when he did the robbery he called me an hour before and he was so messed up on the phone he couldn't talk," said Burns, who works in the medical field. "He was slurring because he had almost taken this whole bottle of Lorazepam."

She said McCune finished all 90 pills inside the bottle the same day he filled his prescription and just an hour before police said he robbed the convenience store. Burns said her brother has had a pill problem for years but was starting to turn his life around. She said her brother was released from rehab last week after being enrolled in Prestera Center for two months. McCune said she doesn't think her brother would have been charged with armed robbery had he not been given prescription drugs.

"I'm not justifying it," Burns said." I think he fully deserves whatever, whatever punishment they give him but I honestly do not think he would not have done it if it hadn't been for these Lorazepam."

Burns said she wants doctors to take a closer look at medical records and maybe recovering drug addicts like her brother won't be able to get their hands on another bottle of prescription pills, which could possibly push them over the edge.

"We need to clean the crime up that needs to be stopped," Burns said. "The prescription drug medicine is almost the root of it. We can't stop it until we get these doctors to do their history checks and do their drug counts to get these people from selling their pills."

A spokesperson with Prestera Center told Eyewitness News recovering drug addicts should be upfront with their doctor about their past addictions and should research the drugs doctors prescribed before taking them.

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