Man accused of killing physician over botched prostate surgery 21 years prior

Prosecutors allege a man who received prostate surgery in 1992 murdered the physician who recommended the surgery 21 years later, according to the Los Angeles Times.

In opening statements Thursday, prosecutor Matt Murphy told jurors Stanwood Elkus underwent prostate surgery at the Long Beach (California) VA in 1992. For the next two decades Mr. Elkus told anyone who would listen that the surgery caused him to suffer from incontinence, erectile dysfunction and diminished sex drive. He also claimed the surgery caused his girlfriend to leave him. 

Prosecutors said Mr. Elkus was angry about the effects of the surgery and blamed Robert Gilbert, MD, the urologist who recommended the surgery, for his troubles.

Mr. Elkus went to Dr. Gilbert's office on Jan. 22, 2013, and used a fake name to make an appointment. Mr. Elkus allegedly returned the office six days later for his appointment and fatally shot the physician 10 times, according to the report.

Mr. Elkus, now 79, is charged with first-degree murder and faces life in prison without parole if convicted. He has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

His defense attorney Colleen O'Hara did not dispute the facts presented by prosecutors. She said her client suffered from various disorders, including depression, dementia and impairment of his brain's frontal lobes, and he had tried to treat his conditions over the years by seeing psychologists and reading religious texts.

"He understood that he was going crazy and he was trying to get help," Ms. O'Hara told jurors, according to the report.

Ms. O'Hara said Mr. Elkus began taking antidepressant Lexapro a few days before his appoint with Dr. Gilbert, which caused him to lose his inhibitions, according to the LA Times.

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