PARK CITY, Utah, March 31, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — A Park City teen accused of buying and distributing the synthetic opioid “Pink” — which resulted in the deaths of two other teenage boys — on Friday morning pleaded guilty to reduced charges.
The defendant, who was charged at age 15 and is now 16, admitted to a misdemeanor charge of reckless endangerment.
Judge Elizabeth Knight sentenced the teen to 80 hours of community service, a $175 fine, and probation that will include random drug tests. If he fails a drug test or violates the terms of his probation, he will spend 30 days in detention.
In exchange for his guilty plea, prosecutors dropped a charge of second-degree felony distribution of a controlled or counterfeit substance. The boy made his online purchase of the drug before “Pink” was made illegal by by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. “Pink,” more formally known as U-47700, will remain illegal for at least a two-year period while it is studied.
The defendant told Knight he had not realized how dangerous “Pink” was. His friends used it, he said, and so did he, although it made him acutely ill.
The defendant was charged after the September 2016 deaths of Grant Seaver and Ryan Ainsworth, both 13, who were close friends and attended Park City’s Treasure Mountain Junior High. They died at their homes within 48 hours of each other.
The medical examiner determined the cause of death in both cases to be “acute drug intoxication” from “Pink.”
The older teen admitted to ordering the drug online, but said it was distributed by two other teens. He told Knight he feels awful and knows that “sorry will never be enough.”
In her emotional-impact statement, Debbi Seaver called her son a “sweet little boy” who tried to act more grown up than he was. He was a good student, she said.
“Whatever he would’ve amounted to, nobody knows,” she added.
Gillian Ainsworth said her grief is “intolerable” when she thinks of the future Ryan could have had.
Jim Seaver, father of Grant, said the Park City Police Department had not given his family full information on the defendant’s drug history.
“Essentially, three 10th-grade students conspired to buy drugs that killed two 13-year-olds (who were) in eighth grade for 10 days,” he said, adding that the sentence amounts to a week of community service for each boy’s death.
Knight told the defendant that his actions resulted in a tragedy that “will follow you forever.”