Last Updated 30 | 08 | 2014 at 19:00

Lifestyle

Friend of Philip Seymour Hoffman cleared of selling heroin to actor

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A friend of Philip Seymour Hoffman who was arrested shortly after the Oscar-winning actor's fatal heroin overdose, has been acquitted after agreeing to a plea deal, reports the New York Times.

All charges related to the sale of drugs were dropped against Robert Aaron Vinberg a.k.a. Robert Aaron, a Canadian jazz musician on 28 August.

Vineberg was suspected of heroin possession with intent to sell after his arrest two days after Hoffman's death, and might have faced deportation.However, he was never charged with selling the actor drugs and is now likely to receive only a five-year probation sentence after pleading guilty to heroin possession.

Vineberg was widely named in US reports at the time as the man who had most likely sold heroin to Hoffman, and his arrest followed a tip-off that he had dealt to the actor in the past. Comments made by the musician to his arresting officers, in which he admitted regular drug dealing but said he rarely sold to Hoffman, were ruled by the district attorney to be inadmissible at trial because Vineberg had not been read his rights.

Hoffman, the 46-year-old star of Capote and The Master, was found dead on 2 February with a needle in his arm.

Vineberg, who will be sentenced on 14 October, was visibly relieved after the hearing in New York. He told reporters: "It's all over. The worst part is that I still lost my friend."

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