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Kristin Murphy, KSL, File

Trial set for Park City teen facing drug charges tied to friends' deaths

By Annie Knox | Posted - Mar 15th, 2019 @ 5:47pm



PARK CITY — A trial has been scheduled for a Park City teenager accused of having a powerful painkiller delivered to her before it led to fatal overdoses of her two friends.

The 17-year-old girl has denied four counts of drug distribution, a second-degree felony. Her one-day trial is set for April 19 in juvenile court.

The teenager is accused of continuing to receive shipments of other synthetic drugs following the 2016 deaths of Grant Seaver and Ryan Ainsworth, both 13.

Prosecutors say the Park City boys asked to have the powerful white-powder opioid "pink," or U-47700, shipped to her home and they died after taking the drug.

The teen's attorney, Mary Corporon, is seeking to exclude from trial some statements the girl made to police just after they arrested her at a McDonald's in July. Corporon argued Friday that the two plainclothes officers didn't show her client their badge until after they carried her to a police car and brought her into an interview room.

Video of the interview shows the teen is "sobbing and hysterical" and seems to ask for an attorney or her parents at one point, Corporon said. But police didn't try to clarify her request and instead diverted her attention to a waiver form indicating she understood her rights.

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"They deflected and on down the path, pretty soon she’s answering questions," Corporon said. "The entire circumstance is coercive."

"It's kind of damned if you do, damned if you don't," prosecutor Patricia Cassell responded. If the officers try to calm her down, they could appear manipulative, she said. But if they don't, then the defense argues the girl's emotions are running too high for them to get a statement.

Cassell said the investigators were not trying to deviate from any request the teen made and have previously testified that she never asked for an attorney.

Third District Judge Elizabeth Knight said she will issue a decision March 22 on whether to allow the statements to be admitted as evidence.

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