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Tuinei Reportedly Injected Heroin

May 10, 1999

PLANO, Texas (AP) _ Former Dallas Cowboys star Mark Tuinei injected heroin the night before he died, TV station KDFW reported Monday, citing a court document.

Tuinei and Cowboys running back Nicky Sualua spent Wednesday night at a Dallas apartment, the station reported. Sualua said Tuinei injected heroin and also used the stimulant Ecstasy, according to the document.

The document was an affidavit filed by Plano police in support of a search warrant of Tuinei’s home, a Collin County clerk said. Police said they found a small amount of drug paraphernalia in Tuinei’s suburban Dallas home.

In the document, Sualua said Tuinei was alive when they left the apartment, and Sualua drove them to Tuinei’s house in Plano, the Dallas-Fort Worth station reported. Sualua apparently fell asleep, and when he woke up, he could not revive Tuinei.

Sualua called 911 shortly before 6 a.m. Thursday, and the 39-year-old Tuinei was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at a hospital.

Tuinei’s wife, Pono, was in Hawaii, so police secured a search warrant to enter the home. Police say she has cooperated in the investigation.

Investigators were still awaiting toxicology results on Tuinei from the Collin County medical examiner’s office. Results were expected Tuesday.

Tuinei played 15 seasons for the Cowboys before retiring in 1998 and was a key player on three Super Bowl championship teams. He had made plans to return to Hawaii, hoping to coach high school football.

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