Woman gets 4 years in prison for selling drug that resulted in death
By Jim Newton firstname.lastname@example.org September 26, 2013 7:12PM
Saying that her presentence investigation report “reads like a how to wind up in prison” manual, a Lake County Judge on Thursday sentenced an Ingleside woman to four years in prison for selling her son the prescription pain medication that killed one of his friends.
Carolyn Stedronsky, 52, had pleaded guilty to delivery of a controlled substance, a Class 2 felony, negotiated down under a plea agreement from original Class X charge of drug-induced homicide in the death of Jeffrey Ferris, 30, who was found dead in his home in Ingleside last fall.
Stedronsky was sentenced Thursday, Sept. 26, by Lake County Circuit Court Judge Mark Levitt.
On Wednesday, Levitt had sentenced Stedronsky’s son, Brian Stedronsky, 33, of Ingleside, to six years in prison on a negotiated plea of attempted drug-induced homicide in the death of Ferris.
Levitt said that in many ways, Carolyn Stedronsky’s actions were worse than her son’s because despite her years of negative experiences with drugs and opportunities for rehabilitation, she provided the Fentanyl patch that killed Ferris.
According to reports, she had taken the patch, which was prescribed to her husband for severe pain due to back surgeries, and sold it to Brian Stedronsky, who then provided it to Ferris.
Both Stedronskys had prior arrests for drug and alcohol offenses, and Assistant State’s Attorney Suzanne Willett said that while on probation for a previous offense, Carolyn tested positive for cocaine and was charged with DUI.
Members of the Ferris family read victim impact statements at both sentencing hearings, describing the effects the loss of Ferris has had on them personally and as a family.
On Thursday, defense attorney Robert Ritacca and several character witnesses said Carolyn Stedronsky’s problems with drugs and alcohol were caused in part due to the pressure of serving as a caretaker for her husband, who has had multiple serious back surgeries.
Carolyn Stedronsky will receive credit toward her sentence for time she has spent in custody since last December. She will have to serve a mandatory two years on parole following her release.
Levitt stressed that deterring others from delivering drugs was a factor in his sentencing decision, as was the potential opportunity for her to reflect on sincere rehabilitation.