Indiana, PA - Indiana County

Man gets 1-5 years in suicide death

by CHAUNCEY ROSS chauncey@indianagazette.net on November 25, 2013 11:00 AM

A Westmoreland County man has been ordered to a state prison for his role in the drug overdose death of a West Wheatfield Township woman earlier this year.

Brandon Crowe, of Arnold, was sentenced this morning by Indiana County Judge Thomas Bianco to serve one to five years in prison and to pay more than $7,800 in fines, restitution and costs of prosecution. Bianco allowed Crowe, if he qualifies, to get credit for time he has spent in jail since his arrest almost eight months ago, meaning he could be paroled as soon as March.

Crowe, 31, admitted he helped Julie Madeley take a fatal dose of Seroquel, an antipsychotic medication, in late March at her home along Climax Road, then prevented police, paramedics and others from reaching her.

In a plea bargain with prosecutors, Crowe pleaded guilty Sept. 13 to a second-degree felony count of aiding suicide and obstructing emergency services, a third-degree misdemeanor.

Authorities set aside seven additional charges, including accusations that Crowe had stolen Madeley’s jewelry and other valuables while she was incapacitated from the drug overdose, and piled her other belongings into her car with a plan to take them to Pittsburgh or New Kensington and sell them.

In charging documents, state police reported Madeley allowed Crowe to move into the home she shared with Chris Dobies after meeting him online, and that Madeley later tried to get Crowe to leave when their relationship soured.

Dobies left March 25 after a disagreement with Madeley, according to police.

Madeley’s daughter, Angel Fenn, went with state police to the house on March 27 to check on Madeley after phoning several times and being told by Crowe that she wasn’t available to talk. Troopers found Crowe packing goods in Madeley’s car, and he stalled them between 10 and 15 minutes before acknowledging Madeley had labored breathing.

Ultimately, she was rushed to Indiana Regional Medical Center then was transferred to UMPC-Montefiore Hospital in Pittsburgh, where she died early March 28. Autopsy results showed 10,000 nanograms of Seroquel per milliliter of blood, far above the 3,000 ng/ml level considered lethal, and more than 100 ng/ml of Xanax in her system, police reported.

Troopers wrote in a criminal complaint that Crowe said Madeley wanted to commit suicide and he provided water to help her swallow her pills until she fell asleep.

“I found troubling your actions at the time this crime took place,” Bianco told Crowe in court this morning.

Bianco said he took into account the impact of the crime on the Madeley, her family and the community, in setting the sentence.

He heard Crowe’s apology before passing sentence, and listened to defense attorney Aaron Ludwig’s request to consider Crowe has taken a parenting program and undergone drug and alcohol counseling since being jailed.

For the count of obstructing emergency services, Crowe was given a concurrent term of two to 12 months in prison. The assessment includes a fine of $500 and orders to pay $1,865 in court costs and restitution of $1,905 to Stuart Funeral Home, of New Florence, $2,000 to Mark Madeley, $415.90 to Fenn, and $1,131.97 to Bruce McClure, of Robinson.

Crowe faces court action on unrelated charges in Westmoreland and Allegheny counties.

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