PITTSBURGH (AP) — A man has been sentenced to more than seven years in prison for ditching the getaway car following the murder of a woman in western Pennsylvania just before she was to meet with federal authorities about another man’s involvement in a New Jersey-supplied heroin ring.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that U.S. District Judge Mark Hornak imposed the 90-month term on Glenn Lee Thomas on Friday. Thomas was convicted of being an accessory after the fact to the 2014 murder of 34-year-old Tina Crawford in Pittsburgh.READ MORE: Man Charged With Killing Witness In Pittsburgh Heroin Probe
Prosecutors said Crawford made drug runs for another man, Price Montgomery, and wiretapped calls indicated that they traveled to Newark, New Jersey, where agents allege they bought heroin from his supplier. Crawford was slain about an hour before she was to meet with federal prosecutors in August 2014. Her 63-year-old mother, into whose home she had moved following threats, was wounded. Montgomery was convicted of killing a federal witness.
Prosecutors had long said they believed Thomas was the second shooter in the slaying, but he was never charged with that crime. Prosecutors sought to introduce evidence of that contention to support an enhanced term, but defense attorney Lee Rothman accused them of trying to impose a “backdoor” punishment without filing charges.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Shaun Sweeney pointed out that during the three-hour hearing, Thomas and his family talked about his hardships, his virtues and his plans for the future, but never mentioned Crawford or Montgomery. Sweeney, arguing unsuccessfully for a term in the higher end of the 87- to 108-month guideline range, said “There wasn’t an ounce of remorse today.”READ MORE: Trial Underway For Man Accused In 2014 Murder Of Pittsburgh Woman
The judge said he could only weigh the evidence of the defendant’s knowledge of the murder in having disposed of the vehicle, but he made it clear how seriously he considered the accessory conviction.
“Isn’t the reality that you’re keeping a killer on the streets?” he asked Rothman.
Thomas, who was denied a sentence of time served, said he and his family had suffered from accusations that he was a killer. He said he was eager to get on with his life, resuming driving a truck cross-country to earn enough money to start buying and rehabilitating homes. He also said he wanted to start a program for at-risk youths.
“I totally regret the decisions that led me to be here today,” he said.MORE NEWS: Recent Hill District Fatal Shooting Sheds Light On Witness Protection
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