By: Christine Souders
A Davenport teen dies from a heroin overdose, now the men charged with giving her the drugs, say they didn't do it. But the victim's friends say the accused dealers should be held responsible.
Andrew Rahn, David Weber, and Joseph Cooper pleaded not guilty Wednesday to giving Tralee Duffey, 18, the drugs that killed her in June. Tralee had just finished high school when she died, and her friends say she had a bright future.
Maison Carlson and Lynn Nquien cheered on the same squad as Tralee Duffey. Both girls say they looked up to her.
"She was a good leader and everybody liked her," said Maison Carlson.
"She was going to school to be a nurse. She had a lot going for her. She seemed really happy," said Lynn Nquien.
Court documents show Andrew Rahn, her boyfriend at the time, took Tralee to buy heroin earlier in the day from David Weber and Joseph Cooper in Rock Island. The next morning she was found lifeless.
"They caused a lot of pain," said Nquien.
In U.S. District Court on Wednesday, all three men pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and distribution charges.
Attorney Jack Schwartz says these types of cases can be tricky to determine who's at fault, "The difficulty of prosecuting these cases is linked directly to what proof they have to show that conspiracy exits."
Schwartz says in order for all three men to be convicted on both counts, the judge or jury has to decide if they each played a role in how the victim got the heroin.
"You have to look at each person's participation along the lines to determine how they all come into play with the ultimate death of the young women."
The three men go on trial in federal court January 7th.