Austintown man sentenced for heroin death - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Austintown man sentenced for heroin death

Posted: Updated:

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - The family of an Austintown man says there's no justice, after the man who provided their son with the heroin that killed him escapes prison time.

Gino Mancuso, a 2006 graduate of Austintown Fitch High School and a senior at Carnegie Mellon University, died at the age of 21 of a heroin overdose in November of 2009.

Now the man who authorities say purchased the drug for Mancuso receives his punishment.

James Fortunato Jr., 23, who originally was charged with involuntary-manslaughter in the death, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of reckless homicide, and apologized to the family before receiving his sentence.

"No matter what the outcome of my sentence today, nothing compares to the punishment that I am already experiencing, having to live with the guilt of this for the rest of my life," Fortunato said.

In a victim impact statement, Dan Mancuso, the father of the victim told Judge John Durkin, "Our lives have been shattered. Our pain is deep, and our pain is real. Our lives have been changed forever."

The prosecutor on the case asked that Fortunato be sentenced to prison, but Judge John Durkin acknowledged along with the prosecution that there were a number of hurdles in this case.

Assistant Mahoning County Prosecutor Martin Desmond tells 21 News, "All of the cases up until this point, and if you look at case law on these type of cases, they were cases where the defendant had either injected the victim and the victim passed away or provided a dose that was a lethal dose. In this case we didn't have that, in this case what we had was two friends that put their money together, and bought drugs, and used them, and one of them died."

The Judge sentenced Fortunato to five years probation, 200 hours of community service that will include speaking to young people about drug addiction, and he's ordered to pay court costs and a $500 fine.

The victim's family says Gino Mancuso's life was worth more than $500 dollars, and for them no jail means no justice.

"We're just very disappointed. Feel injustice was served here today. No jail time whatsoever, just horrific," said Marianne Mancuso, the victim's mother.

The Mancuso's say they'll never be the same.

Now all they can ask is that their son be remembered for how he lived, not how he died.

  • More From wfmj.comMore>>

  • Ocean crash kills teen pilot seeking world record

    Ocean crash kills teen pilot seeking world record

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 10:03 PM EDT2014-07-24 02:03:01 GMT
    A family spokeswoman says an Indiana teenager was killed when his plane crashed while trying to set a record for an around-the-world flight.More >>
    His pilot's license fresh in his hands, an Indiana teenager set out in June for the adventure of a lifetime: an around-the-world flight with his father designed to break a record and raise money to build schools in his...More >>
  • Ohio veteran cited for ducks hopes for law change

    Ohio veteran cited for ducks hopes for law change

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 9:56 PM EDT2014-07-24 01:56:55 GMT
    COSHOCTON, Ohio (AP) - An Army veteran who says his pet ducks help relieve his post-traumatic stress disorder is now hoping for a change in the Ohio village law that prohibits him from keeping the animals in his backyard. Darin Welker, who served in the Army National Guard, was cited for violating a ban on keeping farm animals in West Lafayette. The village is about 80 miles east of Columbus. Welker and his attorney said Wednesday that village officials are considering the possibility of a n...More >>
    COSHOCTON, Ohio (AP) - An Army veteran who says his pet ducks help relieve his post-traumatic stress disorder is now hoping for a change in the Ohio village law that prohibits him from keeping the animals in his backyard. Darin Welker, who served in the Army National Guard, was cited for violating a ban on keeping farm animals in West Lafayette. The village is about 80 miles east of Columbus. Welker and his attorney said Wednesday that village officials are considering the possibility of a n...More >>
  • More than 500 migrant children sent to Pa.

    More than 500 migrant children sent to Pa.

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 9:31 PM EDT2014-07-24 01:31:15 GMT
    HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - More than 500 migrant children are being housed in Pennsylvania as federal officials wrestle with a national crisis created by a flood of tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors across the southern U.S. border. State officials confirmed Wednesday that the federal government told them 120 children are in two temporary centers in Bethlehem and Womelsdorf, near Reading. Kait Gillis of the state Department of Public Welfare says the other 386 youngsters are staying with ...More >>
    HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - More than 500 migrant children are being housed in Pennsylvania as federal officials wrestle with a national crisis created by a flood of tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors across the southern U.S. border. State officials confirmed Wednesday that the federal government told them 120 children are in two temporary centers in Bethlehem and Womelsdorf, near Reading. Kait Gillis of the state Department of Public Welfare says the other 386 youngsters are staying with ...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms