District attorney charges two teens with involuntary manslaughter
Because the defendants are minors, their names are being withheld.
District Attorney Bob Burns filed the charges with the Lassen County Superior Court after autopsy reports from the Washoe County Coroner’s Office confirmed the Draxler and Hoffman’s deaths were caused by acute methadone intoxication. The office did not find any other cause of death.
The minors allegedly furnished the methadone to the two boys but details of whether the drug was sold to the boys or given were not disclosed.
According to Lassen High School students, the minors allegedly supplied at least 21 pills to a group of students during the Sept. 22 LHS homecoming game and dance. One of the students who took the methadone was allegedly treated and released from Banner Lassen Medical Center the morning after the dance.
Draxler and Hoffman were found dead around 7:52 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23 in an unattached bedroom of Hoffman’s residence on Inspiration Drive.
According to Brenda Hoffman, who spoke at the Tuesday, Nov. 28 Narcotics Overdose Prevention Education meeting, methadone at first was not a consideration until friends of the boys began showing pictures of the pills taken with cell phones.
According to family and friends of the boys, neither had a drug problem but went along with the crowd.
Burns said because the two charged with involuntary manslaughter are minors, he cannot talk about the case but he said he hopes the Superior Court judge who hears the case will allow him to report the outcome, when it is known, if only to remind teens that there are serious consequences to selling or providing narcotics to fellow teenagers.
If anyone has information on the selling or providing of drugs, prescription or not, he or she is encouraged to contact local law enforcement agencies or the Lassen County Narcotics Task Force.
In an effort to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future, parents have formed a NOPE chapter and plan to meet at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 8 in the LHS Student Center.
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