After his father, mother and fiancee pleaded for mercy, a federal judge sentenced a Newburg man who began using drugs as a grade-schooler to 15 years in prison Monday in a heroin-related death case.
That penalty was set in an agreement Gabriel Stouffer, 32, reached with prosecutors when he pleaded guilty to a heroin distribution count last year. He was among five people charged after a Shippensburg-area man, Kyle Golter, overdosed and died in February 2014.
“I know there’s something there that’s worth saving,” Stouffer’s father told U.S. Middle District Chief Judge Christopher C. Conner.
Defense attorney Stephanie Cesare told the judge that Stouffer was in fifth grade when he started using marijuana. At 15, he became addicted to heroin, she said.
“He was using 12 bags of heroin a day,” Cesare said. “But for this arrest, he doesn’t believe he would be alive today.”
“I admit I made a lot of mistakes,” Stouffer said as Conner prepared to sentence him. “I greatly regret everything I did.”
Conner called the drug-tinged events that led to Golter’s death “horrific.”
Stouffer was the fourth Shippensburg-area resident Conner has sentenced in the Golter death case. Ashley Greis received a 10-year-prison sentence, Danny Forrester received a penalty identical to Stouffer’s, Jeffrey L. Wright was sentenced to 70 months behind bars and Mark A. Parks Jr. received a 6 1/2-year jail term.
Conner sentenced the other defendant, Eugene “Bruno” Stallings Jr., 28, of Baltimore, to 21 years in prison after a federal jury convicted him in the case. Stallings was the only defendant to go to trial.