Woman sent to prison on drug charge

Rachael Taylor, left, stands during her sentencing hearing in 35th Circuit Court in Corunna for possession of narcotics.

CORUNNA — An Owosso woman was sentenced to prison Friday in 35th Circuit Court by Judge Matthew Stewart for possession of narcotics.

Rachael Taylor, 29, was sentenced to one year, five months to four years in prison on a reduced count of possession of less than 25 grams of a narcotic, and ordered to pay court costs and fines. She was credited with 151 days served, and ordered to undergo substance abuse treatment while serving her sentence.

“You’re not going to comply with orders of probation,” Stewart said. “You’re not going to comply with any treatment program. You’re not going to be a suitable resident of the county jail. You’ve seriously narrowed this court’s options in terms of sentencing. The most appropriate outcome for you is to sentence you to a term of incarceration with the Michigan Department of Corrections.”

Defense attorney Jacob Raleigh asked the court for a sentence of less than a year that could be served in the county jail.

“She’s off drugs and I think that with time, the effects of medication will help her be a different person,” Raleigh said.

Assistant prosecutor Adam Masserang, however, asked Stewart to impose a prison sentence due to Taylor’s previous convictions.

“I would hope that as of today Ms. Taylor is off drugs, because she’s been in jail for 151 days,” Masserang said. “There does not appear to be anything suggesting that she would have stayed off drugs if she hadn’t been incarcerated.”

Taylor read from a written statement before receiving her sentence, and said she was ready to give up drugs.

“I’m ready to be mature enough to admit my wrongdoing and take full responsibility for being an addict,” Taylor said. “I am confident in saying I am excited to be a sober mother, daughter and productive member of society.”

When Taylor was arrested on the drug charges in August 2019, she had absconded from a substance abuse treatment center. Additionally, since she has been lodged at the jail since the arrest in Shiawassee County, she was the subject of numerous incident reports in the jail for fighting, noncompliance and other issues. Taylor also has pending drug cases in Saginaw and Oakland counties.

Taylor was charged with possession of cocaine and possession of methamphetamine Aug. 16, 2019. She was arrested Aug. 22 and arraigned on the charges in 66th District Court by Judge Ward Clarkson the following day; not guilty pleas were entered on her behalf. Court records do not indicate the amount bond was set at.

“The court notes you pleaded guilty pursuant to a plea deal with the prosecutor’s office,” Stewart said. “As a result of that plea, the people dismissed the more serious offense of possession of meth. If you think of that charge, you would have faced a maximum of 10 years on that charge.

“You fight. You are noncompliant. You misbehave. You are disruptive. You are not a good candidate for community supervision or any other intermediate sanction. You were ordered to complete substance abuse inpatient, and you absconded,” he said.

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