NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A jazz musician arrested on heroin-possession charges amid an investigation into Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death has lost a bid to have the case handled by a drug court that emphasizes treatment instead of punishment.
A Manhattan judge turned down Robert Vineberg’s request Wednesday. The case will continue in a regular criminal court.
Vineberg is charged with possessing 300 packets of heroin with the intent to sell. The 57-year-old was among four people arrested as police followed leads after Hoffman’s Feb. 2 death from a combination of heroin, cocaine and other drugs.
He is not charged with any role in the actor’s death.
Juliana Luchkiw and Max Rosenblum, both 22, face misdemeanor drug possession charges. Prosecutors did not file charges against the fourth person.
Vineberg, who pleaded not guilty to the charge, has said he and Hoffman were friends but hadn’t been in touch since December.
Defense lawyer Edward Kratt has previously claimed Vineberg has a 10-bag-a-day heroin addiction and much of the alleged stash “was for his own use.”
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