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McNary sentencing postponed after COVID-19 prison exposure

HOLLIDAYSBURG — The sentencing of a Blair County Prison inmate was postponed Wednesday because he had been exposed to COVID-19, Blair County Judge Timothy M. Sullivan said.

Sullivan was scheduled to sentence Alvin “Monk” McNary, 58, on Wednesday morning but said the hearing had to be postponed because McNary was being held in a block that was on lockdown due to COVID-19.

A new date has not yet been set for McNary’s sentencing.

McNary was convicted by a jury last October of providing methamphetamine to his “on and off” girlfriend on March 13, 2019.

According to the testimony in his trial, the girlfriend, Misty Szebin, 48, was monitored by police that day as she went to McNary’s home in the 500 block of 26th Street where she alleged she obtained methamphetamine.

Police charged McNary as the supplier of the meth to Szebin, who also faced charges for her part in acquiring the meth.

Investigators then used the sale as the basis to get a search warrant of McNary’s home where they found a variety of illegal drugs including methamphetamine and cocaine as well as drug paraphernalia.

Police then turned their attention to the Wingate Hotel in downtown Altoona, where McNary had been with Szebin.

In the room, police found packets containing methamphetamine.

The packets were the same kind as found in McNary’s home.

A Blair County jury found McNary guilty of criminal conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine, possession of the drug as well as possession with intent to deliver cocaine, possession of cocaine and possession of marijuana.

McNary denied that he was at his home when Szebin entered the home to obtain methamphetamine.

He testified his relationship with Szebin was “on and off” and that she lied about obtaining the drugs from him.

McNary faces state prison time for his violation of the drug laws while state court records show Szebin was placed on probation in November for more than a decade for her part in the March 13, 2019, drug investigation.

Blair County Warden Abbie Tate was asked about COVID-19 at the prison and said that as of Wednesday, 22 out of 286 inmates tested positive for the virus.

She said the entire prison is not locked down and that the number of cases does not mean there is an “outbreak.”

Those with COVID-19 are housed on different blocks in an effort to control the spread of the virus, Tate explained.

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