Girl who stabbed brother had been on ADHD medication for years

Girl who stabbed brother had been on ADHD medication for years

June 2, 2023

Mother of girl, 12, who stabbed her brother to death says ADHD medication she was on for ‘five years straight’ triggered ‘manic episode’ that caused her to attack

  • April Lyda’s daughter stabbed her son Zander, nine, to death in January 
  • April told Chris Cuomo on NewsNation that ADHD medication triggered the ‘manic episode’  

The mother of a 12-year-old girl who stabbed her brother to death in Oklahoma in January says her ADHD medication triggered a ‘manic episode’ that turned her violent. 

April Lyda appeared on Chris Cuomo’s NewsNation show last night to share why she thinks her daughter, who is not naming, snapped.

On January 5, the girl stabbed her nine-year-old brother Zander three times in the chest. He died in the hospital.  

‘From what we’ve found, it looks like it was a medication issue not anything else. Like a manic episode of some kind,’ her mother said last night. 

She did not specify what kind of ADHD medication her daughter had been taking, but said she was on it for five years ‘straight’ before taking a break last year while being homeschooled. 

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April Lyda appeared on Chris Cuomo’s NewsNation show last night to share why she thinks her daughter, who is not naming, snapped

”They were good kids… they were raised as God fearing children and never had behavioral issues until she was put back on a medication she was off for over a year,’ the girl’s mother said

She also revealed that two weeks before the attack, the girl told some of her friends that she had ‘thoughts’ about stabbing him, but none of them spoke up. 

The only change in her daughter’s behavior in the weeks leading up to the attack was that she was spending more time alone in her room. 

‘She had begun to go to her room for hours. That wasn’t normal for her. 

‘She would just want her own space the last few weeks so something was going on with her, but I just took it like it’s normal teenage behavior, you know, she’s 12.’ 

When she returned to school, doctors recommended that she start taking the medication again to help her concentrate in a room full of other kids. 

Within a few weeks, she started self-harming.

She took her off the medication again but ‘the damage was already done’, says her mother. 

Mom April Lyda with her son, Zander, on a GoFundme appeal for the family after his 12-year-old sister was accused of stabbing him to death

The edited video begins with the girl running downstairs as she yells, ‘I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry’

‘She was fine she wasn’t unstable until she was put back on the medication, then she hurt herself.

‘She cut her arms within a month of being back on it so I immediately took her off. 

‘After speaking with the school, her doctors and herself, we had a long conversation, she felt like she was really angry and irritable for no reason on the medication so I took her off of it. 

‘Unfortunately it was too late the damage was done. 

‘Stuff like this can happen months or even years after being off of a medication like this.’ 

She described how her daughter became ‘angry’ and ‘irritable’ for no reason after spending years on the unnamed medication. 

When April decided to homeschool her, they agreed that she would try giving it up. 

‘The first time I took her off it it was my decision and her decision. She was being homeschooled at the time and she wanted to see if she could do it without her medication. 

‘The only reason she was on it at the time was she was having a hard time concentrating with 20 other kids. 

‘We were homeschooling that year, so I told her that was fine and we could try it out, see if she does well and if she does, she’ll continue to not take it.

‘A year later she went back to public school. 

‘The doctor recommended putting her back on it because her grades were slipping.

The stabbing took place at the family home in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in January 

‘A month later, she cut her arms. That’s when I was told to take her back off of it. 

‘She had been on it for five years straight. She wanted to see if she could go without it,’ she said.

The child is undergoing counseling in a juvenile detention center in Tulsa.

Her mother said she still has no understanding of what drover her to attack her little brother. 

‘She has no idea why she did it. She is heartbroken and feels very guilty but she still doesn’t understand why she did it. She says it was like it wasn’t her.

‘The team of specialists working with her believe her and I believe her too – I know my child and I know that wasn’t her.’ 

Harrowing bodycam footage showed the girl running out of her home, screaming ‘I’m so sorry’ and telling her mom ‘I don’t know what the f*** happened’ after attacking her brother. 

She said it was some ‘demonic s**t’ that caused her to stab him, and sobbed as she told cops she feared spending the rest of her life in prison. 

Because she was under the age of 13, she will not be charged as an adult. In Oklahoma, prosecutors can charge anyone 13 and over as an adult if they deem it appropriate.

In this case, the girl will be processed through juvenile court. 

All of the records of her case are sealed. 

At a maximum, she will be required to spend a few years in custody at a juvenile facility. 


I just want to thank you all for the donations, they couldn’t have come at a better moment, I seen the YouTube video, I don’t think it’s legal or appropriate for them to post that, so hopefully it will be taken down, I try not to let the ignorant comments and all the theories get to me, yes my kids have different fathers, but they were good kids and I never let that prevent me from providing for them in every way including emotionally, mentally, financially. 

They were raised as God-fearing children & never had behavioral issues until she was put back on a medication she was off for over a year – no it wasn’t psych meds – and I can’t get into details because I’m not sure what all I’m allowed to share just yet. Just know my kids loved each other and always got along until the very end there. They were fighting a lot more than usual but they never physically hurt each other on purpose, that just wasn’t who they were. 

She has never even yelled at me – she was happy and energetic, loves school, she is not mentally ill & has not been diagnosed with anything. She has been very well behaved the entire 6 months she has been gone and yes I’m very supportive of her and love her very much. Obviously there is a lot of healing that we both need before we can ever live together again and she needs mental & emotional help after this. She could have permanent, damage we don’t know yet, but she has not had any issues. I want to clarify something, my daughter was not a cutter! She had old cuts from two months prior from when she was first put back on her meds and everyone agreed to take her off immediately and so I did. Unfortunately it was too late the damage was done. The new cuts were from that night she attacked my precious son. 

She has a very amazing team of experts that spend almost everyday with her for hours sometimes. They have been around her this entire six months, they know her pretty well, they also feel like she is telling the truth, and I believe the experts when it comes to this. She is going to treatment, for how long we do not know yet. 

Another thing is my son was not asleep. I know it’s a minor rumor but he was awake because he didn’t have school the next day, he was switching from public to homeschool through a homeschooling program here in my state, we used them before and he had just met his teacher a few days prior but we were waiting for his Chromebook before he could start. Anyway I did not find out that he was awake until our interview. I was confused and shocked, I thought someone broke into my home and hurt my kids and I thought my daughter ran away for safety. 

I did not ever think or imagine that one of my kids would do such a thing. She was as normal as your child. As any 12 year old child who was not allowed to cuss or watch scary evil movies, she was just starting to rebel but she was also just going through normal teenage things, so no there were no signs that would have warned any of us that she was a threat. 

I feel very guilty I couldn’t protect my son. I have promised my children a million times that I would never let anything like this happen to them I would never allow anyone to hurt them and they have nothing to be afraid of at home because it’s our safe place, you know all the normal things parents say to their kids, I felt like I failed him and her both.

I know it’s not my fault and people can be so cruel and evil especially right now. Anyway with all that said, don’t believe everything you see or hear on the internet or from strangers that have never met me or my family. I still have my rights, if I was negligent in anyway I doubt I would still have rights over both my surviving children. Again, thank you so much for the donations, I have to move and I honestly was struggling to pay for it. So I greatly appreciate the donations, and the prayers and kind words. I know I will be reunited with my son again and that’s what keeps me going, that and my two surviving children. 

This was a horrible tragedy that was completely unseen and unimaginable to any parent in any circumstance. God bless you all. And may you’re kindness be return 10 fold.’


There isn’t much to update on, but my daughter is going to be getting a mental evaluation done soon than we can decide the best treatment plan. It’s looking like the medication definitely played a huge part in all this and that makes me so sick because I put her her back on it after taking her off for about 1-1/2 year after her being on it for so long, all the side effects makes sense now although at the time we didn’t know that they were side effects, she was treated as if they were separate issues. 

It’s just all very aggravating and heartbreaking. I try to keep my mind busy but if it’s not, then I’m crying and having a panic attack. When I see things of his laying around the house the memories start rolling in. It’s so hard to be without my children. It’s so hard to know that she did this to him, my poor son. 

I’m trying hard to stay focused and fight for justice for both of them especially my son. 

He was the light to my whole world and it’s so dark with out him. I miss goofing off with him, coming up with jokes to tell each other, singing or gaming with him, I just don’t know how I’m supposed to keep going after such a horrible thing. You would think people that experience something like this would get a pass but they don’t, you are forced to continue with life so your other children are not alone in this dark world. 

Pray for your kids every day and pray over them every day, teach them to pray. It didn’t do us much good but I know Satan kills, lies and destroys not God.

I just wish he would have helped those doctors save him, he could have lived. He should have lived. His last birthday he will have. #forever9 – April Lyda

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