Lawyer: Heroin OD defendant has 'nothing but sadness'
CATAWISSA - One of the two men charged in connection with the heroin overdose of an Elysburg woman in November feels "nothing but sadness" about the situation.
That's how the lawyer for Gregory Shepard, 26, of 51 Winding Way, Catawissa, described his client's feelings in a brief interview inside Magisterial District Judge Craig Long's office Friday after Shepard waived his right to a preliminary hearing on drug related charges.
"It's certainly a tragic situation. Mr. Shepard has nothing but sadness about it," said Gregory Moro, who practices out of Bloomsburg.
Shepard and Anthony Leiby, 25, of 814 Mount Zion Drive, Danville, are charged in connection with the death of Erika Smith, 34, of 160 Horvath Drive. Police said she overdosed from heroin Nov. 20 at Shepard's residence and died four days later at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville.
Shepard and Moro are "discussing a resolution" that could include a possible plea deal with the commonwealth, Moro said after the waiver was announced. More time is needed to consider options and review the full extent of the commonwealth's discovery, and Moro said he reserves the right to file additional motions.
For example, he said, they want to review statements made by Leiby.
The next court proceeding is a formal arraignment, for
which no date is set. Despite the possibility of a plea agreement, Moro said Shepard at this point plans to enter a plea of not guilty.
Shepard is not attending any court-appointed rehabilitation, and Moro would otherwise not comment on his client's situation.
Shepard is charged by Locust Township Police Chief Allen Breach with felony counts of criminal use of a communication facility and possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, and misdemeanors of recklessly endangering another person, possession of a controlled substance and three counts of possession of drug paraphernalia.
The defendant was incarcerated at Columbia County Prison in Bloomsburg on $50,000 cash bail after his arraignment Nov. 21, but his parents later posted property bail, allowing him to be released Nov. 26.
Leiby waived his right to a preliminary hearing Dec. 5 before Long on felonies of delivering 15 packets of heroin and criminal use of a communication facility. Leiby, who was charged by Locust Township Officer Nicholas Thorpe, was incarcerated at Columbia County Prison in lieu of $35,000 cash bail, but he was no longer listed as a prisoner there as of Friday.
Charges against Leiby and Shepard were filed after the overdose incident but prior to Smith's death.