EBENSBURG – A Portage man who has repeatedly stalked his ex-wife had the minimum end of his sentence reduced after a Cambria County judge found the man eligible for a repeat offenders program.

The minimum end of the 24-to-48-month sentence handed to George Lucas Lane, 35, in August, was reduced Monday by six months, meaning that with credit for time served, he could be free by December 2015.

The original sentence handed down by Judge Timothy Creany was based on Lane violating the terms of his parole when he had contact with the victim, Nancy Lane, on May 28.

This earlier release date will apply if the defendant satisfactorily complete his minimum prison time and receives no additional sentence for the May stalking charges stemming from an incident at a Richland Township apartment community.  

Monday’s hearing addressed a petition filed by Michael Emerick, Lane’s attorney, who sought sentencing reconsideration with credit for time served, and a ruling that his client is eligible for a state program.

The Recidivism Risk Reduction Incentive (RRRI) provides lower minimum sentences for defendants of non-violent crimes in an attempt to provide help and stop people from repeating criminal acts.

Cambria County Assistant District Attorney Joseph R. Green, who opposed the reduced sentence, said that RRRI, was developed by state legislators in an effort to get defendants into training or a program to help them stop recommitting.

Emerick said: “We’re pleased with the judge’s ruling.”

Creany based his decision on Emerick’s argument that stalking is not specifically defined in the state law for RRRI ineligibly.

Green argued against the reconsideration, saying that some of Lane’s actions toward his ex-wife implied violence.

“I believe we can demonstrate that there was some violent behavior,” Green told the judge.  

Lane, an inmate at a state correctional institution, is being held in Cambria County Prison pending a hearing Thursday on the May charges.

Kathy Mellott covers the Cambria County courthouse for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter @KathyMellottTD.

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