Ocean City Today

Ochse to serve six months in jail, gets probation extension

By Brian Gilliland | Sep 07, 2017

(Sept. 8, 2017) A Worcester County Circuit Court judge last Friday found that Caleb Ochse, 30, of Ocean City, violated his probation after testing positive for drug use while still under supervision for public fighting that resulted in the death of Justin Cancelliere of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, in 2014.

Judge Thomas Groton III reminded Ochse he “got a break” during his original sentencing by being allowed to serve his sentence in Worcester County, rather than in state prison.

Groton said his appearance on the violation counted as strike two.

“You will be treated differently if you come back,” he said.

Groton then sentenced Ochse to six months in jail, with eligibility for work release, and an additional two years of probation.

Ochse and another man accepted plea deals in March of 2015 for public fighting, which had Ochse sentenced to six years with all but 18 months suspended and credit for eight months served plus 2.5 years of probation. Ochse’s sentence was harsher than his associate’s, since his criminal record was more substantial.

Since the deal, however, Ochse has not had so much as a speeding ticket before the violation, according to public records.

Ochse was subject to drug testing during the term of his probation, which was previously set to expire in January 2018. In July, he tested positive for cocaine and benzodiazepine use. Michael Farlow, Ochse’s attorney, asserted his client had a prescription for the benzodiazepines, but this was disputed by State’s Attorney Beau Oglesby.

Oglesby sought to reinstate the remainder of Ochse’s sentence of 4.5 years, explaining the isolated nature of the incident demonstrated not a backslide by an addict, but a flippant attitude towards his punishment.

Farlow said Ochse knew he had made a significant mistake that could threaten what had been built since his sentencing. Farlow said his client was working two jobs, plus building his own business and is registered for 11 credits at Wor-Wic Community College for the fall term.

“After being released for two years, I can honestly say I’m doing the best I have done in my entire life,” Ochse said.

Groton remarked that Ochse would have to alter that life in the wake of his six-month sentence, but it wasn’t nearly as life altering as 4.5 years might be.


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