401 Meeker St Delta CO 81416 970.874.4421

The pitiful result of methamphetamine use

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Dear Editor:

The wondrous holiday season is here, so much happiness to enjoy. Except for those affected by methamphetamine. There continue to be stories about people using meth in western Colorado. Jan. 12 nine years ago in Colorado, my brother's son, Clint, age 30, left work with a co-worker driving, to the co-worker's friend's apartment and they snorted meth. Two "men" came in, one 21, one 19, to collect a $50 meth debt owed to the 21-year-old by the apartment renter.

Upon arriving at the apartment the 21-year-old took the renter into a bedroom and shot him in the face with a 9mm. He fell on the bed and was shot again in an attempt to kill him. Hearing the shots from the living room, my nephew got up to leave and was shot in the side with a .357 while putting his hand out begging the 19-year-old shooter to not do that. The bullet pierced his spine and he lived several minutes while he bled to death on the floor where he stood.

The autopsy photos and coroner's description were shocking. I'll never forget the awful tortured expression on my brother's face during that testimony. Another young man, there when they arrived, was also shot by the 19-year-old and will be in a wheelchair for life. The renter survived his disfiguring injuries and testified in court along with the wheelchair man.

Now, each year the beautiful Christmas season brings to my brother not joy, but the horrible events of that night because he knows Jan. 12 is soon to arrive. He is a different person now, rarely laughs, suffers from depression and anger, and drinks more than is healthy. I will receive another photo of his son's decorated grave. He is not the only one still suffering from this event. The father of the 21-year-old watched his son be sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole, a stiff sentence because he had previous convictions. The family of the 19-year-old wept as he was sentenced 35 years to life. Clint had one brother who will always grieve for his younger brother.

If this story can help one person stop using that drug it is worth telling. Meth makes women and men ugly with skin sores and the detrimental effect within the body. People prostitute themselves for it. No user will be financially successful. Their physical, emotional and mental health is impaired. Success in life is a result of intelligent choices and decisions we make and this is a story of totally idiotic decisions by all those involved. One dead, one in a wheelchair for life, one whose face is disfigured for life, two in prison, and many family members heartbroken for life, all for $50. How pitiful.

David Hiney
Paonia

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