Judge won't jail NY ex-con seeking cancer care

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — A federal judge has refused to lock up a 56-year-old ex-convict who said he intentionally got arrested for shoplifting to get prison health care for his leukemia.

The Buffalo News reports (http://bit.ly/VR2lhb) the judge in Buffalo instead told Frank Morrocco to go to a local cancer treatment center and apply for financial assistance through a New York state program.

The Amherst man told the newspaper he stole shoelaces and other items as "an act of desperation" because he couldn't afford care. He was released from federal prison a year ago after serving 20 years on drug charges. He was getting cancer treatment as an inmate.

Morrocco was in court Monday because federal marshals had a warrant to arrest him for violating parole. His lawyer said he'd follow the judge's order.

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