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article imageEx-GOP official blames violence against wife on cough medicine

By Marcus Hondro     Mar 29, 2015 in Politics
A former high-ranking GOP official in South Carolina is drawing attention to himself after blaming his violence toward his wife on cough syrup. He said the medicine made him behave "crazy," but his wife says it's not the first time.
On Thursday evening, Todd Kincannon, an attorney in Columbia and former Executive Director of the South Carolina Republican Party, allegedly threatened his wife, Ashley Suzanne Griffith, and would not allow her to get out of their car, grabbing her arm and squeezing it tightly.
While he is blaming his actions on cough medicine, a Lexington County police report said that a "trembling" Griffith said it's happened before - a lot.
Griffith told police that they “have a history of unreported domestic violence", with her husband being the perpetrator of that violence. She also said that her husband was “extremely ‘traditional’ and controlling, thus becoming very upset due to embarrassing him."
The incident this time began in their car after they'd left a function they'd attended together. At that function she had become upset that he was touching her legs and had told him to stop. He became angry about it in the car later and threatened her, she said.
Kincannon said that he had not taken a prescription cough medicine before and his violent episode toward his wife was to blame on that.
“I’m the kind of guy who never goes to the doctor," he said. "I finally went and was prescribed something called Benzonatate for my cough. I’d never taken it before, and took it for the first time last night. Basically, I went completely crazy after taking it. I don’t even remember all of it.”
During the incident, Griffith called 9-1-1 from their car and when he saw the police cruiser she said he threatened to drive the car into a concrete barrier if the police became involved.
Later, Kincannon told media he simply had “an allergic reaction to Benzonatate. Apparently a very small percentage of people go absolutely nuts when they take the stuff, and I’m apparently in that very small percentage."
Kincannon, who resigned from his position with the GOP three months ago after having made a slew of remarks that embarrassed the party - including saying anyone who had Ebola should be executed - was taken to a hospital and evaluated and eventually released.
It's unclear if charges will be laid against him. Griffith told police that she is "extremely fearful" of her husband.
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