He Was Charged With Trying to Kill His Dad. Then, a Reckoning

Liam Ghershony, in recovery, hopes to show his father 'how much I've changed'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 4, 2022 8:15 AM CST
He Was Charged With Trying to Kill His Dad. Then, a Reckoning
Non-spiked tea is shown in this stock photo.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – The low point for Liam Ghershony was being charged with the attempted murder of his own dad. Ghershony's mother called police in Bethesda, Md., in May 2021 to report her son had admitted to "dosing" her ex-husband five days prior. The Washington Post shares the story to "underscore danger of benzodiazepine addiction." An addictions expert at Stanford tells the paper that when benzodiazepines—a class of drugs like Xanax used mainly to treat anxiety—are taken in big amounts, they can actually heighten one's anxieties. That ended up being the case with Ghershony, who had helped his father invest in cryptocurrency. The pair earned $350,000 after cashing out some holdings in 2018, but by 2021, the father had blocked Ghershony from their shared account.

That account held $400,000 in bitcoin, which the son, paranoid about a drop in bitcoin price, was desperate to sell. Ghershony was also an addict—usually using benzodiazepines combined with cocaine and Adderall—and hatched a plan to drug his father and access the bitcoin. On May 9, 2021, the elder Ghershony accepted what his son claimed to be an energy-inducing tea. It was actually laced with benzodiazepines. With the father passed out, his son used his phone to unlock the account and convert the majority of it to the ethereum cryptocurrency. Officers found the man two days later (a worried Ghershony called his dad's ex, who called police after failing to reach him). He was still passed out on the floor of his apartment, suffering from severe dehydration and acute organ dysfunction.

"Police said the man likely would have died of dehydration if officers had not arrived when they did," Bethesda Magazine reported. After Ghershony's mom called police, he was charged, though prosecutors later determined he didn't intend to kill his father. Ghershony, who ultimately received a 20-year suspended sentence after pleading guilty to first-degree assault, always assumed his father would wake up. He just didn't realize the effect of the dose on a non-addict. "I obviously had a massive tolerance," he tells the Post. Now 25, he's spent 125 days in jail and two months in a residential treatment program. (Read the full story.)

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