Failed Drug Test Violates Man’s Probation

SNOW HILL — A local man, sentenced to six years in prison for his role in the death of a Pennsylvania man in Ocean City in August 2014, could be going back to serve out the rest of his term after violating the terms of his probation.

In January 2015, Caleb Edwin-Earl Ochse, now 30, of Ocean City, pleaded guilty to affray, a common law charge essentially indicating he was guilty of participating in a fight in a public place, and was sentenced to six years with all but 18 months suspended. Ochse had been charged with manslaughter for his role in a fight on a downtown street that ultimately led to the death of Justin Cancelliere, 37, of North Whitehall, Pa. on Aug. 24, 2014.

Ochse served the sentence and was placed on supervised probation for two years including routine drug testing. Ochse recently tested positive for a controlled dangerous substance (CDS), which violated the terms of his probation.

As a result, the original case against him has been reopened and he now could be required to serve out the remaining four-and-a-half years of his sentence. A violation of probation hearing has been set for Sept. 1.

Around 3 a.m. on Aug. 24, 2014, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers and Emergency Services responded to a hotel parking lot on 2nd Street for a reported assault.

First responders from the OCPD and the Ocean City Fire Department initiated emergency lifesaving procedures on the victim and transported him to Atlantic General Hospital where he was later pronounced dead. An autopsy was performed and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled the nature of Cancelliere’s injuries as head and neck trauma and the cause of death a homicide.

The investigation revealed an altercation between Ochse and a friend, Christopher Blake, now 24, of Ocean City, who also later pleaded guilty to affray, and Cancelliere and his group of friends occurred in the area of Talbot Street and Baltimore Avenue. The evidence included video surveillance tapes from Fat Daddy’s restaurant near Talbot Street where the defendants and the victim were seen just prior to the incident.

A second video surveillance tape showed an unconscious Cancelliere being removed from a taxi in the parking lot of the Plim Plaza Hotel on 2nd Street where the victim and his friends were staying. What happened in between is known only by the defendants and the victim’s friends along with a few bystanders that may have provided testimony at trial, but Ochse pleaded guilty to affray and was sentenced to six years. After serving 18 months, how much more time he will serve after his probation violation will be decided Sept. 1.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.