Suzanne Corona was sentenced to one and a half years in state prison this afternoon and one year post-release supervision by Genesee County Court Acting Judge Michael F. Pietruszka.
The determinant sentence was given for her guilty plea last year to one count of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the fifth degree.
She admitted selling one suboxone pill for $60 to an undercover drug agent.
Although Corona has a record of petty, albeit some sensational, crimes dating back to 2010, the suboxone sale was her first felony offense.
She could have avoided prison entirely had she been able to successfully complete probation, given in lieu of incarceration, in that case.
But in April she admitted lacing her coffee with the liqueur Amaretto. In exchange for her admission of the probation violation, Judge Pietruszka allowed her to continue probation without any additional penalty.
A week later, she tested postive for alcohol again and was sent to jail for the weekend. On April 25, she was back in court and the judge released her to the custody of an inpatient rehab facility for a month after signing a court order for the medical care. Upon release, she was in court for a bail review hearing and the judge determined that despite the stay in rehab, she was in violation of her probation and she was ordered back to jail.
Today, she smiled wanly at her husband in the gallery when she was led into the courtroom by a bailiff. Wearing navy blue scrubs and canvas slip-on shoes, chained at the waist and handcuffed, she stood with regal posture next to her attorney, Brian Degnan.
"Miss Corona has a lengthy criminal history -- both in this court and in local courts," said Assistant District Attorney Kevin Finnell (standing in for ADA William Zickl). "She has shown a lack of ability to comply with the conditions of her probation."
Attorney Degnan said his client successfully completed the month-long rehab program and that authorities recommend she be placed in a halfway house, a sober living facility, but she and her spouse cannot afford the $900-per-month cost of that option. He acknowleged her failure to comply with probation and said she intends to take classes to improve her mental health and well being.
"She has issues she needs to work on," Degnan said.
Degnan disputed Zickl's characterization of his client's criminal past, specifically the claim that she "has a lengthy criminal history in this court."
The judge asked Corona if she had anything to say on her own behalf. She did.
"I would like to apologize to you for not being able to complete my probation," she said clearly and sincerely, adding that she intends to take as many classes as she can to improve herself.
Then, choking back tears, she said "I apologize to my family for being so selfish and not realizing how much hurt I have caused them. My family has suffered and now they'll suffer because I won't be here."
With that, the matter was concluded. Her husband told her that he loved her; she waved awkwardly to him with one of her manacled hands and was led away.