x

WPMT FOX43 | News in Harrisburg, York, Lancaster, Lebanon News, Weather, Sports

Lt. Governor responds to backlash in Ashley Menser case following Lebanon County DA letter calling his comments “critical”

LEBANON COUNTY — Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman is doubling down after Lebanon County’s District Attorney released a letter to the media accusin...
John Fetterman

LEBANON COUNTY — Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman is doubling down after Lebanon County’s District Attorney released a letter to the media accusing him of “criticizing the court” in its decision to incarcerate a cancer patient in need of treatment.

It comes after Fetterman went on social media and tweeted urging she be released and get treatment.

“Let this woman visit with her oncologist and litigate the rest of that,” said Fetterman. “Suggesting that this woman be allowed to visit with her oncologist shouldn’t be a controversial take,” he added.

Ashley Menser, 36, pleaded guilty to stealing $109.63 in items from a Weis grocery store back in 2018. On the day of her hearing, she had an oncology appointment to discuss possible surgery, but it was put on hold when judge Samuel Kline sentenced to 7 to 10 months in county jail.

“I don’t understand why it would be in anyones interest to keep her from meeting with her doctor and allow him or her to evaluate her current health status,” added Fetterman.

But this isn’t Menser’s first run in with the law. Online court records show in 2018 she plead guilty to retail theft, and in 2017 she plead guilty to retail theft, a DUI and other traffic violations.

The letter from Lebanon County District Attorney Pier Graf reads in part: “Our Lieutenant Governor found it appropriate to criticize the court and the victim.”  — adding — “He failed to mention in any of his tweets, however, the extensive prior record of the defendant, her drug abuse, or the fact that her sentencing ranges – as set forth by the legislature – call for jail time.”

Lt. Governor responds to backlash in Ashley Menser case following Lebanon County DA letter calling his comments “critical”

Fetterman says while it was not his intention to get this kind of reaction, he is standing by his words.

“I’m not going to get into a shoving match with the district attorney, I am just suggesting that they air on the side of compassion and allow this woman to see her doctor.”

“This is not public enemy number one this is not Hannibal Lector that they have to you know wheel out in a catchers mask and in a gurney this is an addict,” Fetterman added.

A motion has been filed for reconsideration and modification of the sentence.

A hearing has not yet been scheduled but is expected to happen within the next ten days.