Recovery trumps jail for former Greensburg man in fatal overdose case

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An Indiana County man’s restoration from drug habit gained reward from a Westmoreland choose who sentenced him Friday to serve seven years on probation for his function in his girlfriend’s overdose loss of life in her Greensburg condo two years in the past.

In rejecting a advisable sentence of as much as 13 years in jail, Choose Christopher Feliciani stated he believed incarceration of Julian V. Cancro could be counterproductive and in contrast him to the director of the county’s drug overdose activity power for his efforts to show his life round and assist others in restoration.

“I feel you in all probability are the early makings of Tim Phillips in our county. You possibly can actually step in for him when he retires,” Feliciani stated. Phillips, a recovered addict, has for years led the county’s efforts to scale back deadly drug overdoses and has been a member of the native drug courtroom workers. Feliciani and Choose Meagan Bilik-DeFazio preside over drug courtroom.

Cancro, 38, now of Indiana, pleaded responsible to at least one rely of drug supply leading to loss of life. Police stated he and one other man drove to Wilkinsburg to purchase fentanyl-laced heroin he gave to Darice Franke, 48. In keeping with courtroom data, Cancro claimed he discovered Franke unresponsive in her house on Aug. 29, 2019. She died a day later on the hospital.

Police stated Cancro cooperated with the investigation into Franke’s loss of life.

In courtroom Friday, Cancro stated he was upset with himself however added that, during the last two years, he accomplished a number of drug rehabilitation packages. He now volunteers at a restoration heart in Indiana, the place he serves as a home supervisor.

“It’s in my finest curiosity,” Cancro stated of his determination to plead responsible. “I’m simply upset in myself.”

Phillips testified on Cancro’s behalf throughout Friday’s listening to and informed the choose he believed a jail sentence would negatively affect his restoration.

“He has been an instance for other people within the restoration neighborhood,” Philips stated.

As a part of the probation sentence, the choose ordered Cancro to serve three years on home arrest and carry out 200 hours of neighborhood service. The home arrest may be lowered to 18 months if different sentencing circumstances are met, Feliciani stated.

Assistant District Legal professional Mike Pacek stated state sentencing tips referred to as for Cancro to serve 6-1/2 to 13 years in jail.

Pacek agreed to dismiss one drug supply leading to loss of life cost towards Matthew Caughey, who police stated went with Cancro to purchase the medicine. Caughey, 46, of Youngwood pleaded responsible to 2 drug possession counts.

“The proof towards Mr. Cancro was very robust,” Pacek stated. “We couldn’t hyperlink Caughey with the precise distribution of the medicine that killed the sufferer within the case.”

Caughey was sentenced to serve 6 months to a 12 months behind bars and a consecutive jail time period of three months to 11 1/2 months. He was instantly paroled after being given credit score for the greater than 450 days he spent incarcerated after his arrest.

“He by no means met Ms. Franke, by no means had any contact together with her, and we may show that to a certainty,” stated Richard Galloway, Caughey’s protection lawyer.

Wealthy Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Evaluation workers author. You possibly can contact Wealthy at 724-830-6293, rcholodofsky@triblive.com or through Twitter .



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