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Man Sentenced to Year in Jail in Friend’s Death From Heroin

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Times Staff Writer

A Canoga Park man was sentenced Friday to a year in jail for helping to inject a fatal dose of heroin into a friend.

Peter Demidow, 35, was originally charged with murder in the July 17 death of Alden Cass Warder, 37, of Encino. But Demidow was allowed to plead guilty last month to a lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter because he was only peripherally involved in administering the accidental overdose, Deputy Dist. Atty. Lea Purwin D’Agostino said.

Demidow cooperated throughout the incident, authorities said. After Warder collapsed into unconsciousness, Demidow called paramedics, stayed until police arrived and told them that he had pressed Warder’s arm to expose a vein and that another man, David Goodman, had injected the heroin.

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The death occurred at the Encino home of Goodman’s mother in the 4200 block of Mooncrest Place. Goodman was questioned but not charged because he admitted no wrongdoing and no evidence could be found to corroborate Demidow’s statements, D’Agostino said.

“Someone has gotten away with murder,” D’Agostino said.

D’Agostino asked Van Nuys Superior Court Judge David P. Yaffe for a prison sentence of two years, one year less than the maximum possible under the terms of the plea agreement.

But Yaffe cited Demidow’s cooperation as one of several reasons to spare him state prison. He also noted that Warder probably could have been injected without Demidow’s help. Demidow was sentenced to three years probation, with the first year to be served in County Jail.

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