Matthew Ming Carpenter, the Los Altos High graduate who sold Stanford University student Eitan Weiner the fentanyl-laced Percocet that led to his overdose death two years ago, was sentenced Friday to two years of probation, 12 days in county jail and 100 hours of community service.

Carpenter, 21, pleaded no contest to the felony count of transportation, sale and distribution of a controlled substance. He has already served six days in county jail and completed his mandated 100 hours of community service with Habitat for Humanity.

The emotional sentencing hearing included four victim impact statements made by Weiner’s father Amir, mother Julie and sister Ya’el, as well as his college friend Mia Bahr. Weiner’s family and friends urged Judge Jose Franco to consider a harsher sentence for Carpenter, who the family alleged showed little remorse and whose light sentence will not be a deterrent to drug dealers involved in perpetuating the opioid epidemic. Carpenter did not make a statement to the court.

According to the Weiner family, Carpenter and Eitan Weiner had been close friends from the time they were 5 years old up until Weiner’s death. Amir Weiner said it was only “dumb luck” that the counterfeit drugs Carpenter sold did not end up killing more people.

“This deal is a slap on the wrist for Matthew Ming Carpenter, but a slap in the face for me and my family,” Julie Wiener said in her statement.

Before announcing Carpenter’s fate, Franco said he recognized the pain of the Weiner family, but referenced a personal belief that people in the throes of addiction have the ability to turn their lives around and make amends for things they have done in the past.

“My hope is that the person in your shoes carries (this pain) with you forever in how they approach life and what they do with it,” Franco said directly to Carpenter. “It’s up to you if and how you wish to honor your friend’s life.”

Although the Weiner family believes that justice was not served, they hope their case will spark discussion on the opioid epidemic in the Los Altos community. They also want their pursuit of justice seen as the blueprint for families in a similar situation seeking justice against drug dealers. 

A Los Altos High student died last month of possible fentanyl poisoning.

“I think we were very clear in our statements that we think the deal that was reached was anemic and not the decision in order to deter drug dealers like Matthew Carpenter and curb the opioid epidemic,” Ya’el Weiner said. “This isn’t a discussion the Los Altos community is done having, considering the recent overdose death of a student. We’re not going to solve this problem or save more lives unless justice is served.”

In a statement of advisement and hope to other families in the Weiners’ position, Ya’el Weiner said not to give up when pursuing justice.

“Even though our family was not able to see the justice that was deserved or hoped for or expected, we hope that this can be a roadmap for families who are waiting for their own justice in these cases,” she said. “Be annoying, be a nuisance, ask for a meeting with the DA. Families are the lifeline of these cases.”

This story was edited on May 13, 2022 to clarify the felony charge against Matthew Ming Carpenter.

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