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A Shrewsbury man who police said bought heroin for a co-worker who fatally overdosed has been sentenced to about a year in York County Prison.

Nicholas Aaron Wernick, 27, appeared in York County Court on Friday and pleaded guilty to heroin possession with intent to deliver, according to court records.

As part of his negotiated plea agreement, a charge of drug delivery resulting in death was dismissed.

Wernick was sentenced to a year minus a day to two years minus two days in county prison, court records state. He must submit to a drug and alcohol evaluation and follow through with any recommended treatment or counseling.

Presiding Common Pleas Judge Maria Musti Cook ordered Wernick to report to prison on May 29, according to court records.

Not a dealer: Defense attorney Jennifer Smith said Wernick was not a drug dealer. He was a heroin addict who was doing a favor for co-worker who repeatedly asked Wernick to get him heroin, Smith said.

"(He's) wishing it never happened, and that he could take back that day," she said. "I don't think he will ever, ever participate in any kind of drug delivery in the future, even if it is just for a friend."

Wernick is working full time, according to Smith. Court records indicate he is eligible for the prison's outmate work-release program.

The charges stemmed from the Aug. 26, 2014, death of Pasquale Joseph Neri, 33, who took a lethal dose of heroin in his Stewartstown apartment as his girlfriend and children slept, according to authorities.

'Help me out': Wernick told police he would try to avoid Neri at work because Neri would continually ask Wernick to go "get him dope." Neri would tell Wernick things like "don't let me down" and "help me out, bro," court documents state.

Neri once gave Wernick some Adderall at work and would use that against Wernick when he'd asked for heroin, documents state. Neri also loaned Wernick $10.

On Aug. 25, Neri continually called Wernick, asking Wernick to get him a $50 bag of heroin. Smith said Neri called Wernick 12 times in one day.

Wernick went to Baltimore, bought heroin and delivered it to Neri the same day, documents state.

Neri's girlfriend found him unresponsive on their couch about 2:15 a.m. Aug. 26, 2014, and called 911, police said.

He was pronounced dead a short time later, and his death was later determined to be a heroin overdose, court documents state.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.

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