Two sentenced in Pa. overdose death

May 30, 2002|by STACEY DANZUSO

Calling it a situation where nobody wins, a Franklin County judge Wednesday sentenced two Chambersburg residents to a minimum of six months in jail for their involvement in the heroin overdose death of a State Line, Pa., man last year.

"Everybody loses here," Judge John Walker said.

Charges were filed against Kelli Marie Fordyce, of 448 S. Second St., and Tyler Frederick Plum, of 1610 Sugarbush Lane, nearly five months after the heroin overdose death of Jeremiah Hoffman, 23.

Hoffman's father found him dead in his bedroom on Feb. 3, 2001, according to court records.

Earlier that morning, Hoffman left a Greencastle bar with Plum, and they did a line of heroin together, court records said. Plum told police he gave the rest of the heroin to Hoffman, who then left.


Police later learned that Fordyce had gotten the heroin in Baltimore and given it to Plum to sell, according to court records.

Earlier this month Fordyce, 21, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and Plum, 24, pleaded no contest to the same charge. A no contest plea means a defendant is not admitting guilt to a charge, but will offer no defense.

In exchange for their pleas, charges of drug delivery resulting in death and possession with intent to deliver heroin were dropped against both.

Hoffman's mother, Janet Hoffman, addressed the court Wednesday.

"My son got life. Everybody involved should be punished to the fullest extent of the law," she said.

Before he was sentenced Plum apologized to the Hoffman family.

Walker urged Plum to focus on the future.

"You do jail time and remain drug and alcohol free and do something with your life," he said.

Plum said Walker has nothing to worry about.

"I am never doing drugs again," he said.

Walker sentenced Plum to serve from six months and two days to 23 months in the Franklin County Prison. He also ordered him to pay a $200 fine and $7,750 restitution to the Hoffmans. After his release from jail, Plum will be on probation for 36 months.

The sentence is to run concurrently with a 48 hours to 23 month sentence for driving under the influence that Walker also imposed Wednesday.

Plum had pleaded no contest to driving under the influence following a single vehicle accident on Social Island Road in Guilford Township Dec. 2, according to court records.

Walker sentenced Fordyce to serve from six to 48 months but ordered her to serve her time in a state prison, citing her criminal record and a recent charge of conspiracy to deliver heroin.

Fordyce was charged in February after police found suspected drugs in her vehicle on Interstate 81.

"I am not going to shut my eyes to that. She went back to using like nothing happened," Walker said.

Her attorney, Gregory Abeln, had requested a local sentence so Fordyce could be considered for an intensive six-month rehabilitation program through the Salvation Army.

Walker said rehab and county jail had not done any good up to this point.

"County prison doesn't seem to have gotten your attention," he said. "Maybe a new environment will help her make up her mind."

Walker also ordered Fordyce to pay $7,750 restitution to the Hoffmans. He ordered her to serve a consecutive sentence of nine months to 48 months for conspiracy to possession with intent to deliver heroin.

"I don't know, Kelli, if this is going to get your attention. If this doesn't get your attention, you're going to end up dead like (Hoffman)," Walker said.

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