Alaska Teen Critical After Heroin Overdose

By Salon Staff

Published December 28, 2011 2:36AM (EST)

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A 14-year-old Alaska girl was in critical condition days after a 26-year-old man injected her with heroin at his Anchorage home, authorities said Tuesday.

Sean Warner is charged with a drug-related felony and other counts. Court documents say he tried to revive the girl himself and didn't immediately call police.

"Her condition is dire," Assistant District Attorney Regan Williams said Tuesday, adding the girl was on an artificial respirator. "The real sadness is that there's not that much brain activity."

The girl was taken to an Anchorage hospital Friday with a drug overdose, police said. Charging documents say the girl, identified only as J.D., was found to have heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine in her system. Medics told authorities she had sustained damage to her brain and heart.

Charging documents say the type of heroin used is known on the street at "China White."

Police said the drug tends to be more potent than the more common tar heroin. It is sold in powder form and can be cut with varying ingredients in varying amounts, said Sgt. Kathy Lacey, who heads the Anchorage Police Department's vice unit.

"The problem is you don't know what it's cut with," Lacey said. "You have no idea what you're getting."

When asked where the girl's parents were that night, Williams indicated she was not living at home and doesn't come from a "typical family environment." He declined to elaborate.

Warner's bail was set at $90,000. A booking official said Warner remained in custody.

Warner is being represented by the Public Defender Agency, but it was unclear if he has been assigned to a specific attorney yet.

KTUU reported that Warner's father and a friend dispute the allegations and they say Warner is a Navy veteran who saved lives as a medic in Afghanistan. The two said Warner had struggled since returning from the war.

According to the court papers, two others went with Warner to pick the girl up Thursday night and take her back to Warner's home to hang out. Williams said both of the witnesses are men.

Warner was sharing a gram of heroin with the men, and the girl said she was willing to try something "new" but didn't want to inject herself, according to the documents. Warner tried to inject the girl, but failed, so he had her lie down on his bed and hold out an arm, then used his belt as a tourniquet and shot 25 to 30 units of heroin, taking several times to find a vein, the papers say.

The two witnesses told authorities they left the girl on the bed and found her the next morning, face down in her vomit, according to the papers.

"They felt for her pulse, sat her up, and grew concerned at her condition and upset at Warner's ambivalence," the documents state.

Warner did not want to call 911 because he didn't want authorities to find drugs, so instead he placed a tablet of Suboxone — a prescription drug that's used to treat opiate addiction — under the unconscious girl's tongue, according to the court papers. A couple hours later, the girl began convulsing and Warner called 911, the papers say.

The girl was rushed to Providence Alaska Medical Center.

Responding officers did not find drugs because Warner had locked his bedroom door and told police it belonged to a roommate, the court documents state. After police left, Warner and one of the witnesses put needles and other "related evidence" into a box then dumped it behind a trash bin at a nearby business, according to the papers, which say police later recovered paraphernalia including syringes.

Warner is charged with delivering a controlled substance to a minor who is at least three years younger than the accused, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and evidence tampering. He also is charged with theft, accused of stealing a $900 surveillance system from Costco on the same day he took the girl to his home, according to the documents.

Salon Staff

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