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Man charged with murder in heroin death of 13-year-old boy

August 10, 2012 |  3:01 pm

A 23-year-old man has been charged with murder after he allegedly injected a 13-year-old boy with a fatal dose of heroin.

Los Angeles police said Brett Michael Cronin, 23, purchased heroin and injected his step-brother's friend at a sleepover.

Authorities said that even after the boy went into convulsions, Cronin made no attempt to call police. He called the Fire Department eight hours after the injection. When the Fire Department arrived at the Woodland Hills home at 9:10 a.m. Monday, the boy was unresponsive and pronounced dead at the scene.

Cronin faces charges of murder, furnishing or administering heroin to a minor and child abuse. Bail is recommended at $1 million. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole, according to the district attorney's office.

Dylan Rush, a family friend of the boy, said the 13-year-old was a "good kid and he didn't deserve this to happen."

"He was so young and he didn't have a choice in the matter," Rush said.

Earlier Friday, an LAPD spokeswoman incorrectly stated that detectives had gathered information that the boy voluntarily injected himself with the deadly dose of heroin. The LAPD has since retracted the statement.

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-- Richard Winton and Kimi Yoshino

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