A drug dealer from New Jersey who sold a deadly dose of heroin to a 15-year-old girl after investigating how & # 39; a girl became addicted & # 39; could touch the drug, was locked up for eight years for Thursday.
Austin Cooper, 22, pleaded guilty for his part in causing the death of teenage Madison McDonald, who died shortly after she did not respond at her home in Evesham Township, the day after Christmas in 2017.
A few days earlier, Cooper had delivered ten bags of heroin to Madison at her family's home. The drugs were cut with a toxic mix of fentanyl – a brewery prosecutor said Cooper had made himself after googling how to cut heroin and how to get girls addicted to it.
During a heartbreaking address in the courtroom, Madison, the father of Madison, remembered the moment when he discovered that his daughter was lying upside down and unconscious in her bedroom next to a rolled up dollar bill and several white rows of powder on a CD box.
& # 39; She was my little baby. He took my little girl, & McDonald said, his voice swollen with emotion. & # 39; This man, he is just a threat to society. I hope he lives in misery every day for the rest of his life, because I know that I am. & # 39;
Austin Cooper, 22, pleaded guilty for his part in causing the death of teenage Madison McDonald, who died of a heroin overdose on December 26, 2017
A few days earlier, Cooper had delivered ten bags of heroin to Madison at her family's home. The drugs were cut with a toxic mix of fentanyl – a brewery prosecutor said Cooper had made himself after googling about cutting heroin and how girls can become addicted to it
McDonald added that he had wanted Cooper to spend the rest of his life behind bars while trying to use violence during his time in prison before warning that he would never miss one of his parole hearings.
A stone's throw from the grieving father, an empty Cooper sat chained to the ankles and wrists and stared aimlessly into the room with his head bent in his lap.
Cooper's guilty plea came in April after a deal with prosecutors accepting a first-degree strict liability charge for drug-induced death in exchange for an eight-year sentence.
Shortly after Madison's death, authorities determined that Cooper was responsible for delivering her medicine on December 11, 2017.
The couple first met in a local mall where Cooper would often & # 39; trawlen & # 39; and wandered around looking for young customers with spending money to spend, prosecutors said.
After Assistant Burlington County Prosecutor Jeremy Lackey took some of his electronic devices, he told the court that investigators thought he had searched online & how to get a girl addicted to heroin & # 39; and & # 39; how to cut heroin and fentanyl & # 39 ;.
After Madison died, Cooper sent a Facebook message to one of his friends who said he had taken & # 39; a corpse & # 39; and should now sell more drugs to pay for its impending legal costs.
President Judge Philip Haines laughed at Cooper and told him that his reckless and tasteless actions were a & # 39; shocking indifference to human life & # 39; showed.
During a heartbreaking address in the courtroom, Madison & # 39; s father Stephen (pictured right) remembered the moment he discovered that his daughter was upside down and unconscious in her bedroom next to a rolled up dollar bill and several white rows of powder in a row of CD covers . (Photo: Madison & # 39; s girlfriend Nia Roberts, center, Robert & # 39; s mother Karen, left)
Cooper, dressed in an orange jumpsuit, stood in front of the Superior Court in Burlington County to apologize to the McDonald family, and his, for bringing shame to their name.
& # 39; Madison was a beautiful girl, & # 39; Cooper said to the judge, his voice cluttering with emotion. & # 39; I can't believe she's gone. I never wanted this to happen and I don't want this to happen to anyone else. & # 39;
Through his lawyer, Anthony Aldorasi, the court was informed that Cooper had an offending father and spent much of his childhood in foster homes and living with his grandmother.
Aldorasi also said that his client is suffering from depression, became addicted to heroin as a teenager and tried to commit suicide by overdosing on the drug in 2016.
None of Cooper's family or friends were in court to support him on Thursday.
But friends and family from Madison were there to remind the 22-year-old that they would never forgive him for his crimes.
& # 39; I feel this is an insultingly short sentence & # 39 ;, says Nia Beth Roberts (19) NJ Live. & # 39; The life of my best friend and her bright future is worth so much more than eight years.
& # 39; I think Mr. Cooper should spend at least 15 years, exactly the same short time that my friend spent on this earth. & # 39;
Cooper, dressed in an orange overall, stood in front of the Superior Court in Burlington County to apologize to the McDonald family, and his people, for bringing shame to their name.
Continuing, Roberts continued describing Madison as the little sister she never had. She cried in tears and told the court that she had been Madison since she was eleven.
She described Madison as a shy girl and put a lot of pressure on herself to be & # 39; perfect & # 39 ;. But every year Roberts said she saw her friend grow in confidence before her life became tragically shorter.
& # 39; She knew in her heart that she was good enough and she made me feel like I was good enough, & # 39; said Roberts.
Cooper's guilty plea came in April after a deal with prosecutors accepting a first-degree strict liability for drug-induced death in exchange for an eight-year sentence
& # 39; Madison was the sweetest, funniest and most caring person I have ever met. I wish there was a way he could see my memories of Madison and how beautiful they were, & she said while looking at Cooper.
Judge Haines welcomed Roberts' sentiments, adding that Madison & # 39; s death & # 39; the loss of the world & # 39; was, according to NJ Live.
& # 39; Just the daily thought of not allowing that child to call or text & # 39; and or talking to is a big loss & # 39 ;, Haines said. & # 39; It is often the person you return to as you get older, a child. And I know you will carry that for the rest of your days. & # 39;
Cooper must serve at least 85 percent of his eight-year sentence before being eligible for a conditional release.
After his release, Cooper must be under surveillance for five years and pay a series of fines – the amounts of which have not yet been disclosed.
Stephen McDonald said he reluctantly endorsed the Prosecutor's plea for Cooper because he was unwilling to risk a jury that gave a verdict of not guilty.
He added that he believed that Cooper deserved a life sentence.
& # 39; My daughter got life & # 39 ;, the afflicted father told the Philly Inquirer outside the courtroom. & # 39; I will never celebrate Christmas again. … I will never be the same again. & # 39;
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