A Wellsboro woman’s plea for a lighter sentence for her part in the overdose death of a Coudersport man in 2015 has been rejected by the state Superior Court.
Desiree L. Tipping, 34, is serving a state prison sentence of 5 to 10 years for her guilty plea to a charge of drug delivery resulting in death.
According to court records, on Nov. 3, 2015, in a parking lot on Bridge Street in Galeton, apparently in the vicinity of the Nittany Minit Mart, Tipping delivered 10 packets of heroin laced with fentanyl to Michael Langworthy, 47, of Coudersport.
Langworthy was found unresponsive in his car at the convenience store, and was pronounced dead later that day by Potter County Coroner Kevin Dusenbury.
Tipping allegedly used a cell phone to set up the transaction, court records read.
She pleaded guilty in accordance with a plea agreement, in which charges of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and criminal use of a communication facility were dismissed, and Tipping agreed to a minimum sentence of 60 months or less.
She was sentenced before Judge Stephen Minor in Potter County Court on March 21, 2018, to 60 to 120 months — 5 to 10 years — in state prison.
She, through her attorney William Hebe, filed a motion for reconsideration of the sentence, which Minor denied.
She filed an appeal to the state Superior Court, challenging Minor’s discretion in fashioning her sentence, saying it was “manifestly excessive … in light of the plea agreement,” according to the memorandum filed by the Superior Court.
Super Court Judge Jack Panella wrote the memorandum, in which he described on what grounds Tipping would be eligible to file for relief. He indicated that the plea agreement did not denote a specific sentence, but said the minimum sentence would be 5 years or less.
“Initially we note that Tipping received a sentence in compliance with her guilty plea,” Panella wrote. He indicated that Tipping claimed the judge failed to consider mitigating factors at the time of her sentence, including that she had a “crime free background, (cooperated) with authorities” and that she was a single mother.
Panella said, “This court may not reweigh factors considered by the sentencing court to arrive at a different conclusion.”
He said Minor did not abuse his discretion in fashioning the sentence, and denied Tipping’s appeal.
Tipping remains incarcerated in the State Correctional Institution at Cambridge Springs.