December 19, 2014


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 Follow him on Twitter @ngfalcon.

  • Billy bob

    The media will do and say anything to make something sound like this person is a murderer just to sell a damn paper, last time I checked nobody forced anyone to stick a needle in there ARM! As tragic as it is, we have to be responsible for our son actions

  • chad

    he sold heroin to an underage teen girl billy bob ur sad. this guy should just be executed

  • wew

    her life, her choice

  • DS

    I agree with you Bob. Nobody is responsible for another’s actions. She made a choice and she paid the ultimate price but it’s not the business of government what you voluntarily put in your own body.

  • resident x

    This truley is sad, both of them are so young with their whole lives before them. That being said, I do not believe he should be held responsible for her death, she chose to put the needle in her arm, he didn’t force her. Not that this is anywhere close in comparison to this tragic event, the principle is the same: should everyone who dies of a heart attack or stroke hold fast food restaurants or candy companies liable even though they made a conscious decision to purchase and consume their product? It’s time we take responsibility for our own actions and stop blaming other people for our own bad decisions. Im sorry this happened and my Prayers go out to her family in this time of great sadness

  • Steve Buechele

    He sold the kid heroine, seems pretty clear who is guilty. I know him and he went down the path of hardcore drugs that can kill you. I believe it is all on him to take responsibility for his actions. Anyone who says a drug dealer is not responsible for a drug users death is a wrong. Sorry Billy bob but think about it.

  • mike

    Yeah, but fast food wont INSTANTLY kill you like heroin will. IMO, just being in possession of heroin should be a manslaughter charge at the least, just like it is for LSD. With having multiple friends and an ex-girlfriend die from that shit, i have zero tolerence or sympathy for anyone involved in that.

  • Keep the faith

    Another sad case… Enough said

  • No crap

    No one understands the disease unless u have it. It’s not always about a choice. Say what you want. Statistics proves it. Study up buddy

  • Heather’s mom

    Drug buyer? Wow!

  • No justice!

    I thought there was a 3 year minimum sentence for just the gun? Where are we, Mayberry? SMH

  • No justice!

    Disgusting! Let’s make a deal! Our justice system sucks!