Elip Cheatham, 27, who died in a police shooting early Monday, was eager to turn his life around, his fiancee said.
Saharah Pecot, who identified herself as Cheatham’s fiancee, said in a call from Texas, “He just got out of prison. I don’t understand: How could this happen to him?
“He was a really caring person who would extend his hand out to help his family and friends. It’s just really unfortunate he was in a situation like this.”
Despite his past troubles, Pecot said, Cheatham looked forward to building a new life by owning his own clothing store.
Pennsylvania court records indicate Cheatham’s criminal past.
In Cambria County, he was charged as an adult in 2001 at age 16. He pleaded guilty to criminal trespass as a felony and to receiving stolen property, a misdemeanor. He was sentenced to six months to two years in county jail.
In Cumberland County, he pleaded guilty in March 2006 to illegal possession of a firearm, graded as a felony.
He was sentenced to from 21/2 to five years in state prison, with credit for time served since September 2005.
Meanwhile, residents of the Sheridan Street area said drugs are pervading the area.
Robert Schuster said the neighborhood was getting tougher.
“It’s scary,” he said in an interview on the street about 7:30 a.m. Monday. “I see them exchanging drugs right in broad daylight.”
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