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Up to six years for drug dealer who allegedly left corpse

With a pending trial for alleged abuse of a corpse, an area man was sentenced to two to six years for his earlier drug dealing charges Monday.

John R. Cobb Jr., 61, sold crack cocaine to a confidential informant on May 30 and June 1 of 2018.

Six months later and after making supervised bail in October 2018, he checked into the Budget Inn Motel on Lycoming Creek Road for a week’s stay on Nov. 1, 2018, according to court records.

Allowing a female acquaintance to stay with him, Cobb left one morning and returned that afternoon to find her “unresponsive on the floor,” according to an affidavit.

After staying that night and allegedly leaving a note on the motel door that said “Room is good,” police said he spent the next three nights sleeping on porches before he called 911 to report the death.

Now representing himself in this case, Cobb filed for a witness list, a post-sentence motion, and a motion for pretrial discovery on Nov. 1, Dec. 5 and Dec. 6, respectively.

He is scheduled for a pre-trial motion on Jan. 23, 2020, before Judge Marc F. Lovecchio.

During his Sept. 27 trial for drug dealing charges, Cobb attempted to prove the confidential informant bought drugs from an unnamed female living at his home and it was due to drug use that the informant failed to properly remember.

However, Lovecchio said he found the informant’s reaction to Cobb’s questioning to be “telling.”

The informant had “no problem looking at the defense and saying ‘no, it didn’t happen like that,'” he said.

Additionally, he was “direct and confrontational,” said Lovecchio.

For sentencing purposes, Assistant District Attorney Joseph Ruby said Cobb’s “long history of criminal behaviors” should factor into the judge’s calculations.

Cobb said he would save his comments for his appeals.

In sentencing the man, Lovecchio said it was important to keep three things in mind: the significance of the offense, protecting the community and Cobb’s rehabilitative needs.

“Drug distribution has been a problem for decades and wreaks havoc in the community,” he said. “While the defendant does not appear to be a drug dealer, the fact he was convicted means society should be protected.”

Cobb refuses to accept any responsibility for his crimes, said Lovecchio.

For that reason, “no steps for a rehabilitative state sentence are appropriate,” he said.

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