Tye Fannin said fear and panic led him to dump the lifeless body of Bridget Blaney, 33, in a Mt. Sterling-area driveway last November.
The 32-year-old Grove City man was sentenced on Friday, April 11, to eight months in prison after pleading guilty to abuse of a corpse as part of a deal with the Madison County Prosecutor’s office.
The charge is a fifth-degree felony punishable by up to a year in prison.
Blaney, of Circleville, died of a drug overdose on Nov. 10, 2013, while in Fannin’s company.
Fannin didn’t call for medical assistance or notify authorities. Instead, he drove Blaney’s body to McClimansville Cemetery Road, northeast of Mt. Sterling, and left it in a private drive.
Prior to sentencing by common pleas judge Eamon Costello, Fannin apologized to Blaney’s family for his actions. He said Blaney was his friend and that she was alive when he fell asleep inside a Mt. Sterling-area mobile home. He woke to find her dead.
“I didn’t think about other people,” he said. “I got scared. I panicked.”
Although they agreed with Fannin’s prison sentence, Blaney’s father and stepmother found little comfort in the man’s apology.
Bill Blaney said he’s haunted by questions about his daughter’s death.
“Was she really dead?” he asked. “You threw her out like trash.”
He said Fannin’s crime left many victims, including the woman’s young daughter, as well as the homeowners who found her remains on their property.
“She (Bridget) considered you her friend,” Mr. Blaney told Fannin. “Obviously, you weren’t.”
Jane Beathard can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 16 or via Twitter @JaneBeathard.