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November 30, 2012 - 2:41pm

BREAKING: Prison sentence for Jacquetta Simmons stayed pending appeal

posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Jacquetta Simmons.

UPDATED, 3:56 p.m.

A NYS Supreme Court Justice has stayed the five-year prison term of Jacquetta Simmons pending an appeal of her sentence. The 27-year-old Batavia woman was convicted of punching a 70-year-old Walmart cashier a year ago Christmas Eve.

Simmons can be released from prison on either $50,000 cash bail or $50,000 bond or other security.

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman and ADA Melissa Cianfrini appeared in the chambers of Associate Justice Rose Sconiers, Appellent Division, 4th Department, this afternoon to argue against defense motions in the case.

Friedman said Sconiers isn't required to offer a reason for issuing the stay, but the argument that seem persuasive to her was the defense contention that Simmons' sentence was overly harsh.

Three attorneys represented Simmons, Friedman said, and argued that no other first-time felony offender convicted of second-degree assault in Genesee County since 2006 has received a prison term.

Two of the attorneys for Simmons said this afternoon that there were several reasons they believe the sentence was overly harsh, including all of the arguments raised by Attorney Ann Nichols in her statement to Judge Robert C. Noonan at the sentencing.

Among the factors -- she said she believes Noonan should have given more weight to Simmons' lack of documented encounters with the law, her college education, her steady employment, her volunteer work in the community and the broad range of support from "people who actually know her."

Attorney Earl Key added, "There are lots of things in our report that were raised at sentencing, but we put the law behind them and really detailed the law on what harsh and excessive is."

The defense team is also pursuing an appeal on the conviction of Simmons, and still believe they can get the conviction overturned, but Key said they led off today with the issue of the sentence.

Friedman said he and Cianfrini could have argued the case over the phone, but went to Buffalo to represent the people of Genesee County and the victim, Grace Suozzi, in person, rather than let only the defense appear in chambers.

The defense has until May 31 to finalize its motion and present its legal briefs.  Assuming Simmons makes bail, she could be out of prison until a ruling on the motion is issued.

Key said the actual order by Sconiers hasn't been signed yet, and until he has it in hand, he declined to discuss the process by which Simmons might be released from prison.

Ted Wenzka
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I would like to know where she gets the money for 3 attorneys

Robert Brown
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I'd like to know what constitutes an excessive sentence! As far as I know, there are guidelines for every sentence in the book. That should define the boundaries for excessiveness. As long as the sentence is within the defined boundaries, case closed. This is another example of the utter failure of our system to provide fair and swift justice. Keep bogging down the courts with redundant litigation while second guessing the decisions of the judges we hire to make the decisions. Guess Rose's grandmother hasn't been punched in the face lately...

david spaulding
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the sentence just makes ms.simmons the first,"first time felony felony offender convicted of second degree assault in genesee county" since 2006 to go to prison.... what's wrong with that judge? maybe you should go back and re-sentence the ones who got away without a 6 year vacation in the dept.of corrections....

david spaulding
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and the bail money,or did $50,000 turn into chump change while i was nappin?

mike nixon
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ABSOLUTELY CRAZY!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lisa Schwab
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Many years ago it may have been JUSTICE FOR ALL but that was a different place and a different time. It has been my own personal experience that those days no longer are part of our Great Nation. Now we are part of JUSTICE FOR SOME OR JUSTICE FOR A SELECT FEW ! What a Shame! Where is the justice for Grace and her Family? Well My Prayers are with you Grace and your entire Family and you will get your Justice and may God Bless you it is not over till it's over.

Shawn Maher
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The comments above have all the outcries of social injustice of a lynch mob...

david spaulding
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"lynch mob"., i believe that term has been classified as racist

Richard Richmond II
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Hmmm; among the factors stated as praise and/or glowing accomplishment by her attorney; “Noonan should have given more weight were Simmons' lack of documented encounters with the law, her college education, her steady employment, her volunteer work in the community and the broad range of support from "people who actually know her."

Can we factor in undocumented encounters where poor misunderstood Jacquetta Simmons got away with bad behavior? The woman exhibits a bombastic temper; a temper that may have been both learned and overlooked while growing up; perhaps it is part of her permanent psyche.

Jacquetta Simmons showed little if any remorse to be then compounded with poor judgment by getting pregnant with sentencing hanging over her head...again.....hmmm.

Now factor in Jacquetta Simmons is the company she keeps, as we all are.

See the article in the Batavian posted Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 4:59 pm; the headline; Batavia man admits to causing baby's brain injuries.
On August 24th, this offal, Randy Johnson took the stand in Jacquetta’s defense as witness on her behalf.

This alone says much of Jacquetta’s character or lack of and brings attention to the circle of her friends, colleges, etc...

Judge Noonan’s sentence was correct by the guidelines he is mandated to follow.

bud prevost
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The maximum she could have received was 7 years. She got 5 years. Had she not allowed her arrogance to overcome her, she could have plea bargained to 3 years. I don't see your point about lynch mobs, unless your intent is to provoke, and that isn't working. Nice try.
She got the sentence she got because she didn't play the plea bargain game. Some people go to prison with long sentences, and don't deserve it; she deserves it for hitting a frail, elderly woman trying to do her job.

Howard B. Owens
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Richard, just to be factually accurate, there is absolutely no reason to believe based on facts available that Randy Johnson and Jacquetta Simmons had any prior contact with each other prior to Christmas Eve 2012, or, really any time since. He was a witness to events in Walmart, that is all. There've never been any facts presented in court or out that Johnson and Simmons know each other at all.

Mark Potwora
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Maybe in the long run it is better...The taxpayer won't be burden of paying for the birth of the baby...She can start her time after the baby is born...What happened to the law about assaulting the elderly..I though that carries more weight when sentencing.. And why have crimes that you can't assign a sentence to... Judge Noonan’s sentence was correct by the guidelines he is mandated to follow.

Richard Richmond II
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Thank you, Howard I stand corrected, although the circumstances of he being a witness makes me wonder in the small community in which we live.

John Roach
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Mark,
It seems the stay of sentence is not related to the conviction, but the length of the sentence. At this time she is still guilty. Maybe she will not end up doing 5 years, but I'll be happy with any state prison time for her.

jim luttrell
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Why don't we just give her a gift certificate or key to the city or how bout a get out of jail free card- isn't that just to bad that she was charged- what about the poor victim who had to suffer that on Christmas Eve no less .

Robert Brown
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Yes, yes - a Walmart gift certificate and a handicapped parking tag too!

Autumn Connolly
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She still is trying to act like the victim in all of this! If she can't own up to what she did she should be rotting in jail. She could have taken the plea deal and they wouldn't be going through all of this now. That is the risk you take when you take a crime to trial.

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