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14-year-old injected with heroin dies


This news story was published on December 30, 2011.
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By Casey Grove, McClatchy Newspapers –

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A 14-year-old Anchorage girl who police say overdosed after a man injected her with heroin last week has died.

Police said the teen passed away shortly after noon Thursday after six days of being unconscious and on an artificial respirator. In a brief statement, police also revealed her identity: Jena Dolstad. She had previously been only identified as “J.D.”

Sean Warner, 26, faces a drug-related felony and other crimes related to the overdose. A homicide detective and a state prosecutor both said Warner will soon be charged with an additional felony for allegedly causing Dolstad’s death. Police say he injected Dolstad with the heroin after she agreed to try the drug at his West Anchorage home Dec. 22.

According to a charging document, two witnesses told police they drove with Warner to pick up Dolstad that night. Warner planned to share a gram of heroin — a strong powder form called China White — with all of them, the witnesses told police.

Dolstad said she was willing “to try something new” by injecting the drug, but she didn’t want to inject herself, the charges say. “One witness said he tried to warn (Dolstad) of the dangers of heroin addiction and advised her not to do it,” according to the charging document.

Warner tried to inject Dolstad in his bathroom, but failed, the charges say. He then had her lie down on his bed and used his belt as a tourniquet on her right arm. Warner filled a syringe with 25 to 30 units of heroin and put the needle in her arm, the witnesses told police.

“But Warner did not hit a vein, and had difficulty finding one in her small arm. After a few more tries, witnesses say Warner eventually found the vein and slowly forced the heroin into her bloodstream,” the charges say.

Warner then injected one of the witnesses, who vomited in reaction to the powerful opiate, according to the charging document.Witnesses found Dolstad lying face down in her own vomit the next morning, about 9:30. “They felt for her pulse, sat her up, and grew concerned at her condition and upset at Warner’s ambivalence,” the charges say.

Someone sent a text message to Dolstad’s friend, asking that he take her to a hospital. But the friend was at work and said he couldn’t leave. He suggested calling 911. Warner was apparently afraid police would find drugs at the house and would not call. He instead put a tablet of Suboxone — a heroin substitute used to treat addicts — under Dolstad’s tongue, and the unconscious girl began convulsing, according to the charging document. Warner then called 911 about 1:30 p.m., the charges say.

Medics rushed Dolstad to a hospital. Tests later showed she had heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana in her system, police said.

Police responding to the call did not find drugs or paraphernalia because Warner had locked the door to his bedroom and told officers it belonged to a roommate, the charges say. Later, Warner and a witness collected the syringes and other evidence, put it in a box and dumped the contents behind a trash bin at a nearby McDonald’s restaurant. Officers found the snow-covered evidence later.

On Christmas, Warner was charged with first-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance — for allegedly delivering the heroin to a minor — evidence tampering and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, as well as theft for an alleged earlier offense, police said.

State prosecutor Regan Williams said Wednesday that Warner would likely be charged with manslaughter if the girl died. Williams was not immediately available for comment Thursday after Dolstad’s death.

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