LANCASTER, PA — A Harrisburg man was sentenced to 7 to 15 years in state prison Wednesday for dealing the fentanyl that resulted in the death of 55-year-old Francis C. March IV, announce Lancaster County District Attorney Heather Adams.
Thomas Wiley Jr., 30 of the 100 block of Deaven Road, was sentenced by Lancaster County President Judge David Ashworth after being found guilty by a jury on Feb. 8, 2023.
Assistant District Attorney Christopher Miller prosecuted the case and said the defendant’s substantial criminal history – including multiple drug convictions – outweighs the fact he didn’t intentionally kill the victim.
“The problem with making the same mistakes over and over and over is that they can no longer be considered mistakes,” Miller said. “It becomes a choice. There was a time to say a mistake was made and to make a change. There were very real consequences in this case. We lost a life. This is the consequence of dealing these types of drugs.”
Wiley Jr. apologized to the victim’s family, said he was a friend of the victim, and asked for forgiveness.
The victim’s sister spoke after and forgave Wiley Jr., saying that his and the victim’s lives collided at the wrong time.
“Turn to the truth,” she said. “Know that forgiveness is there. Forgive yourself.”
President Judge Ashworth commended the victim’s sister for having the heart to forgive the victim before noting the defendant’s past criminal history and recognizing the positive changes the defendant has made since being incarcerated for this current crime.
“Other than the fact that you provided the drugs that killed your friend, you’ve made an effort to change your behavior,” Ashworth said. “Regardless of how good of a man you have become, it doesn’t change the fact you’ve delivered the drugs that have caused a death.”
Ashworth also stated the dealing of illegal drugs – especially fentanyl – is a “scourge on our society.”
Elizabethtown Police responded to the 100 block of South Market Street for the report of an unintended death on June 25, 2019. Officers met with the girlfriend of the victim, who decided to check on the victim after becoming concerned when she hadn’t heard from him in two days.
The Lancaster County Coroner’s Office determined the cause of death to be multiple drug toxicity.
Miller presented evidence during trial that showed the defendant had sold crack cocaine laced with fentanyl to the victim on multiple occasions, including the night of his death.
Defense counsel argued fentanyl is what killed the victim – not cocaine – and that the fentanyl came from a different source other than Wiley Jr. The jury then heard evidence that Wiley Jr.’s fingerprint was on one of the sandwich baggies recovered from the victim’s residence.
Miller argued that Wiley Jr. was the one who bought his product from a different source – not the victim – and that there isn’t quality assurance in dealing illegal narcotics.
The jury returned its verdict after approximately three hours of deliberations.
Elizabethtown Detective Corporal Matthew Shuey filed charges and testified.
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