Woman who stole car sentenced to state prison

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 May 2018 at 7:55 am

3 others plead guilty in County Court

ALBION – A Rochester woman who stole a car in Albion on June 14 will spend 1 to 3 years in state prison after being sentenced on Monday in Orleans County Court.

Georgeta M. Coleman, 19, was sentenced for fourth-degree grand larceny. She had been approved for a diversion program and was at a drug treatment facility near Albany. However, Coleman only stayed briefly for orientation and left the site, stealing one of the counselor’s cars and driving back to the Rochester area. Coleman’s whereabouts were unknown for about two weeks.

“I think the system has tried very hard with Ms. Coleman,” District Attorney Joe Cardone told Sara Sheldon, interim County Court judge. “She seems to reject help. I think at this point she has exhausted people’s efforts to help her.”

Coleman’s attorney Nathan Pace said she has a “biological impediment” that makes decision-making difficult. He asked that she be sentenced to one year in the county jail instead of the longer sentence in state prison.

“She is still just a young girl,” Pace told the judge. “I ask for leniency.”

Coleman said she regrets her actions and struggles to make the right choices.

She was asked why she steals cars.

“I get a mental high,” Coleman told Judge Sheldon. “It’s like I accomplished something.”

The judge decided to give Coleman the maximum sentence.

“You got to stop this,” Sheldon said. “It’s got to end.”

Three other people also pleaded guilty to crimes in Orleans County.

• A former Middleport resident pleaded guilty to third-degree burglary and could face a maximum of 1 ½ to 3 years in state prison for a burglary in the county from about 3 ½ years ago.

Nichole Hart, 27, allegedly broke into a house Dec. 28, 2014 on East Lee Road in Barre.

She is currently in a residential drug treatment program in Manhattan. Judge Sheldon complimented Hart on her progress.

Hart will be sent to the Willard drug treatment program through the state corrections system. She also has to pay $6,000 in restitution for the burglary.

She will be sentenced at 2 p.m. on Sept. 17.

• A Rochester man who has been in the county jail for 15 months pleaded guilty to attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree and will face a maximum of 2 years in state prison as part of a plea deal. The charge normally has a sentence of 1 ½ to 8 years in prison.

Victor T. Simmons, 47, is accused of selling heroin and cocaine in Albion. Cardone, the district attorney, said there are audio and video recordings of Simmons selling drugs. Simmons said he had heroin with the intent to sell in Albion on Feb. 28, 2017.

Simmons had previously declined all plea offers. His case was also slowed when he insisted on a different attorney through the assigned counsel program.

He was emotional on Monday while entering a guilty plea. The judge had a sheriff’s deputy give him tissues for his tears.

“I’m just thinking about my kids,” he told Judge Sheldon.

Simmons will be sentenced at 2 p.m. on Aug. 6. His time in the county jail will count towards the prison sentence. He also will have three years of post-release supervision.

Vanessa Trouerbach, 26, of Churchville was accepted into a diversion program. She pleaded guilty to third-degree burglary, admitting to entering a garage on Monroe-Orleans Countyline Road on June 21. She and a co-defendant took tools. She agreed to pay up to $1,000 restitution.

If Trouerbach can follow the rules of the diversion program, the felony charge will be dismissed and she will be on probation for three years for a misdemeanor charge. If she doesn’t get through the program, she could be sentenced up to 2 1/3 to 7 years on the burglary charge.

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