Man Sentenced to Prison in 13-Year-Old Boy's Heroin Death at Sleepover

Brett Michael Cronin pleaded no contest in connection with the death last summer at a Woodland Hills home

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    Brett Michael Cronin

    A man accused of providing heroin to a 13-year-old boy who died after a dose of the drug last summer at a friend's house was sentenced Monday to prison.

    Brett Michael Cronin was in court as the boy's family members read victim impact statements before he was sentenced to 14 years in prison. The 24-year-old Woodland Hills man entered a plea of no contest to furnishing or selling a controlled substance to a minor and causing great bodily injury, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office.

    Kim Matthews, who identified herself as the victim's mother, told the court her son was a "warm, kind, caring child."

    "You've altered many lives with your bad choices on that night," she said in court, referring to Cronin. "Was he just a case of your complete lack of regard of human life?"

    In August 2012, the victim had been spending the night at the house of a friend, who is Cronin's younger step-brother. Investigators said Cronin injected himself with heroin, then provided the boy with heroin.

    Prosecutors said he did not call for help until eight hours after the boy began convulsing.

    Family members said Cronin was living at his father's home. The fatal dose was administered after the victim and Cronin went into a bathroom at the home, prosecutors said.

    "This is a tragedy for everybody," said Stephen Lacy, who identified himself as Cronin's uncle. "We all lost somebody. My sympathy to the family. It's just very difficult."

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