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December 3, 2013

Man involved in fatal 2012 shooting pleads guilty to heroin sale

JOHNSTOWN — One of the three men involved in a deadly shooting by police in June of last year has pleaded guilty to selling heroin.

Court documents show Cardell Clinton, 22, of Johnstown, who was charged with four separate counts relating to heroin distribution, accepted a plea deal Tuesday morning before Cambria County Judge David Tulowitzki.

According to a criminal complaint, Clinton was caught during an undercover heroin sale that took place on June 11 in the city’s Hornerstown neighborhood. Clinton and co-defendant Correy Martin, also of Johnstown, secured 0.36 grams of heroin for a police informant who was wearing a video recorder.

As part of the plea deal established by Assistant District Attorney Wayne Langerholc Jr., Clinton now faces sentencing on only a single felony count of manufacturing, delivery or possession with intent to deliver the drug.

Separate felony charges of criminal conspiracy and criminal use of a communication facility, as well as one misdemeanor charge of possession of a controlled substance, were dropped.

In June of last year, Clinton and Hayward Gaines were in the car of Elip Cheatham, who was fatally shot by police when he sped his car toward a police blockade. Cheatham was rushing Clinton to a hospital after he was shot outside Edder’s Den in a separate incident stemming from an extortion committed by Gaines and Clinton.

Clinton pleaded guilty in February and was sentenced to six to 23 months for his role in the extortion.

Clinton’s sentencing on the drug charge is scheduled for Feb. 3.

Clinton’s public defender, Gary Vitko, could not be reached for comment.

Justin Dennis is a multimedia reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at Twitter.com/JustinDennis.

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