SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KGO) -- In Santa Rosa Superior Court on Tuesday, a judge sentenced 35-year-old Danielle Falletto of Petaluma to more than 19 years in state prison for giving drugs to her teenage son, who overdosed on fentanyl, and died.
Those are the straight facts, but there is more to it.
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"He never had a chance," said Brayden George's grandmother, Sandra.
The 16-year-old lived life being shuttled between families, torn apart by drugs and addiction. Sandra George and her husband Dave raised the teen for most of his years and did a good job. The trouble began when their son and Brayden's father regained custody and, the family says, threw him out after a fight at home.
"He was a great kid till he was dropped off at his grandfather's," said David George.
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The trouble began when Brayden's mother, Danielle, returned home from prison again. Brayden hardly knew her, but they connected. Family friends say she did drugs, an uncle sold them. And subsequently Brayden used them, too. In court we learned that the night he died from his overdose, Danielle had been high, as well. She never took Brayden to the hospital and will serve 19 years for it.
"She was worried about herself," said David George.
Caught in the middle we found Brayden's half-brother, McKinley, trying to find solace.
"He passed away. He is in heaven. Can't bring him back," he said.
Call it a modern American tragedy. For these people, an un-mixable blend of sweet and painful memories of Brayden George.
"I think he was looking for a place to fit in having been cut out," said Sandra George. "He was looking for acceptance."
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The sad backstory of a North Bay drug overdose