Ex-coach gets prison in theft from player's memorial fund

PITTSBURGH (AP) A former Pennsylvania high school baseball coach who stole from the fund he created in honor of a terminally ill player is going to prison.

Thirty-nine-year-old Steven Wetzel was sentenced Friday to 18 months in federal prison for stealing more than $90,000 from the charity for terminally ill children.

Wetzel pleaded guilty in September to stealing from the fund he created for 18-year-old John Challis, who made headlines for playing sports while dying of cancer.

Wetzel established the Hero Program after Challis died in August 2008. Challis realized his dream when Wetzel let him pinch-hit for one game at Freedom High School in April 2008.

Wetzel's attorney says he's remorseful and was naive in handling the funds.

He spent the money on utility bills, home remodeling, restaurants and baseball tickets.

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