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Teen avoids prison time in drug-related death of 17-year-old friend

Roughly one year ago, we wrote a blog post about five Minnesota teens who were facing serious criminal charges related to the overdose death of a 17-year-old Woodbury girl. The five were accused of providing the girl with a synthetic drug that was manufactured to mimic the effects of the hallucinogenic drug LSD.

Since their indictments last May, four out of the five teenage defendants have been sentenced in relation to the girl's death. Most-recently, one of the teens pleaded guilty to criminal charges including third-degree murder for his role in the girl's death. The teen claimed to be a close friend to the girl who he sold two hits of the synthetic drug for $20.

At the teen's sentencing, prosecutors claimed he was a known drug dealer while the defense argued he was captain of his football team and an A student. The judge overseeing the case sentenced the teen to serve 12 weeks in a juvenile detention center and perform 150 hours of community service. Additionally, he must play more than $23,000 in restitution fees and must abide by the strict terms of his parole.

While the teen avoided prison time, the judge warned that he could serve a 21-month sentence if he violates the terms of his parole. Speaking to the teen at sentencing the judge also told the defendant that "I hope you honor her life and I hope you give your life meaning beyond being a criminal."

Teenagers often fail to understand the serious consequences that can potentially arise from their decisions and actions. This is often especially true in the case of drugs as teens tend to be curious and of the mindset that nothing bad can or will happen to them. In the case of synthetic drugs, teens may wrongly believe that these drugs are safe as they were, and in some cases still are, sold legally in stores.

Parents of teens who are facing drug charges want to do everything in their power to ensure that a teen's mistake and lack in judgment doesn't ruin his or her life. In cases where a teen is facing drug-related charges, a criminal defense attorney who handles juvenile criminal matters can assist.

Source: Star Tribune, "Fourth defendant sentenced in Woodbury teen's drug death: Teen who sold drug said he never imagined the "horrible" outcome," Kevin Giles, May 4, 2015

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