May 3, 2015

Medina
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Heroin buyer sentenced to prison for teen’s death

 

Jason Gangle, 23, is handcuffed after he was sentenced to nine months in prison while his attorney, Robert Hanwell, looks on. NICK GLUNT/GAZETTE

Jason Gangle, 23, is handcuffed after he was sentenced to nine months in prison while his attorney, Robert Hanwell, looks on. NICK GLUNT/GAZETTE

MEDINA — A 23-year-old Medina man was sentenced Thursday to nine months in prison for buying the heroin that killed a 17-year-old high school student when she overdosed last year.

Jason Gangle, of the 700 block of East Reagan Parkway, pleaded no contest to two counts of complicity to traffic heroin, a fifth-degree felony and a first-degree misdemeanor, and guilty to grand theft firearm, a third-degree felony. They were two separate cases.

Gangle testified last week at the bench trial of Heather Graham, a 31-year-old Iraq War veteran who was accused of supplying drugs that killed Medina High School senior Brittnee Johns days before her graduation.

He said on the stand that he bought the drugs from a dealer in Cleveland with Graham’s money and took a “finder’s fee” from Graham’s cash.

Medina County Common Pleas Judge James Kimbler said he would rule on Graham’s case on Monday.

In Gangle’s theft case, Medina County Assistant Prosecutor Matt Razavi said Gangle stole a gun from a family member to sell for drugs.

Gangle’s attorney, Robert Hanwell, said his client was sorry for his involvement in Johns’ death.

“He feels terrible about it. He was texting her that night after going home, not knowing she was already deceased,” Hanwell said. “He’s not going to be able to erase that memory.”

He said Gangle admits to having an addiction and wants to overcome it.

“His eyes are open now. He wants to change,” Hanwell said. “He wants to turn his life around.”

Gangle was given the chance to address the court at his sentencing.

“I just want to apologize for what I’ve done,” he said. “I accept the consequences of my actions.”

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com. Follow him on Twitter @ngfalcon.