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June 06, 2019

New Jersey drug dealer sentenced to eight years in prison for 15-year-old's fatal heroin overdose

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Madison McDonald fatal heroin Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Austin Cooper, 22 of Willingboro, New Jersey, who sold Madison McDonald, 15, of Marlton, the heroin that caused her fatal overdose, was sentenced to eight years in state prison on Thursday

A 22-year-old New Jersey man was sentenced to eight years in state prison on Thursday for giving the fatal overdose of drugs to a juvenile

Austin Cooper, of Willingboro, Burlington County, delivered 10 bags of heroin to the home of Madison McDonald, 15, of Marlton, in December 2017. Cooper pleaded guilty in April.

McDonald's father found his daughter unresponsive after the overdose. She was transported to Virtua Marlton Hospital and then the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, where she died two days later.

"We sadly have grown accustomed to drug overdoses taking the lives of young people, from all walks of life," Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina said in a statement. "We rarely, however, see someone as young as 15 die this way, which only deepens the tragedy of Madison's death." 

According to the Burlington County Times, police involved in the case said McDonald is one of the youngest victims of a fatal overdose that the department has ever investigated.

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