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A former 911 dispatcher in Pennsylvania will no longer face manslaughter charges over allegations he failed to send an ambulance to the rural home of a woman who died a day later from internal bleeding.

This week, prosecutors dropped a manslaughter case against a 911 dispatcher in Pennsylvania for failing to send an ambulance to the home of a rural woman who died a day later of internal bleeding.

Greene County District Attorney Brianna Vanata said she ordered the dismissal of Leon “Lee” Price after reading an investigator’s report that said he believed the charges in connection with the July 2020 death of 54-year-old Diania Kronk were unjustified.

“There was simply no criminal culpability here,” Vanata said in a telephone interview Thursday. She said the decision to bring charges two years after Kronk’s death – and shortly after her family filed suit over it – was a mistake by then-District Attorney Dave Russo.

“I’m not sure what the previous district attorney was thinking,” Vanata said. “That’s my opinion.”

Price’s defense attorney Timothy Ross said Thursday that the charges had been a stressful ordeal for his client, whom he described as an honorable employee who had always maintained his innocence. After Kronk’s death, Ross said, an investigator told Price he would not be charged.

Ross said Price is “moving forward, rebuilding his reputation in the community and is just happy to put these charges behind him.”

Investigators had said Price was unwilling to send help without obtaining additional assurances that Kronk would actually come to the hospital.

Vanata said she based her decision on an August 2020 memo from Greene County Police Chief Zachary Sams that said Price may not have been properly trained and that the investigator believed Price’s actions “did not rise to the level necessary to warrant criminal charges.”

Price could be heard on a recording questioning Kronk’s daughter, Kelly Titchenell, for about four minutes. As Titchenell described her mother’s condition, Price asked if Kronk “would be willing to go to the hospital,” which is about a half-hour from their Sycamore home. Titchenell assured him she would, saying she was worried her mother might die.

Titchenell told the dispatcher that Kronk had been drinking heavily for several weeks, that she had lost weight and had turned yellow.

Price said he would send an ambulance, but then added, “We really need to make sure she’s ready to go.” Price asked Titchenell to call once she got to Kronk’s home, but Titchenell said she couldn’t find her mother’s landline and there was no cell reception.

Titchenell said when she reached Kronk’s house, her mother was lying naked on the porch, talking incoherently and repeatedly assuring her that she was OK. Titchenell said an autopsy ruled Kronk’s death to internal bleeding.

Titchenell did not call 911 again on the way home, believing her uncle would check on her soon. The uncle learned the next day that Kronk had died.

Russo said there was enough evidence and called Vanata’s decision to drop the case a political one. Russo said Thursday the manslaughter charge did not help previous efforts by the defense to drop it.

At Vanata’s request, a judge dismissed the charges on Monday. Jury selection and trial were scheduled for next week.

Vanata said she approached Price about a possible settlement to a lesser charge, but he did not take the deal. Titchenell questioned the decision to drop the charges.

“I think it was too much for the new district attorney,” Titchenell said in a phone interview Wednesday. “She would have had to put in a lot of time and effort to understand this case and go through everything. I think it was too much for her, so she basically tried to get away without a trial.”

Vanata said she has spent “many, many hours” going through the evidence since taking office in January. She beat Russo by 44 percentage points in the 2023 Republican primary. “It was definitely not an easy decision.”

Price is no longer a dispatcher and now works in maintenance for Greene County.

“Mr. Price lost his job and that was certainly an ordeal for him,” said Vanata. “But I also feel so terrible for the family who had to go through this as well. They also had to carry it for four years.”

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