Manslaughter charge against 911 operator who failed to send ambulance dropped

 June 7, 2024

A Pennsylvania 911 operator made headlines in 2020 after he was charged with involuntary manslaughter over the death of a woman he failed to provide with an ambulance.

However, this week saw Greene County District Attorney Brianna Vanata reveal that the charge is being dropped. 

"There was just no criminal culpability here"

According to the Associated Press, Vanata announced in a telephone interview on Thursday that her office is no longer pursuing Leon "Lee" Price regarding the death of 54-year-old Diania Kronk.

The district attorney said that her decision came after an investigator on the case argued against charging Price, stating, "There was just no criminal culpability here."

Vanata added that charging Price was a mistake on the part of her predecessor Dave Russo, saying, "I'm not sure what the previous district attorney was thinking. That's where I'm at."

The report was submitted by Greene County Regional Police Chief Zachary Sams, and it noted that Price may not have received adequate training.

Daughter expressed fear her mother would die

It also included a recording in which Price could be heard speaking with Kronk's daughter, Kelly Titchenell, about her mother's condition.

Titchenell explained that Kronk had been heavily consuming alcohol for a period of weeks and that her skin had recently turned yellow.

The operator at one point asked Titchenell whether her mother would be "willing to go" to a hospital located approximately half an hour from her home.

Titchenell responded that Kronk was willing to travel and went on to express a concern that her mother's life might be in danger. Price informed Titchenell that he would dispatch an ambulance but stressed that "we really need to make sure she's willing to go."

Lawyer says client is "rebuilding his reputation in this community"

Titchenell was at the time on her way to Kronk's house and Price told her to call from her mother's house upon arrival. However, Titchenell asserted that she didn't know the location of her mother's landline and there was no cell service in the area.

Titchenell discovered her mother nude and speaking incoherently. She did not call 911 again after leaving Kronk's home as she believed her uncle would follow up.

Kronk was found dead the following day, with a subsequent autopsy attributing the woman's death to internal bleeding.

Timothy Ross serves as Price's defense attorney, and he told the Associated Press that his client is "moving forward, rebuilding his reputation in this community and just happy to put these charges behind him."

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