A Batavia woman whose name is well known to regular readers of local police blotters is going to prison for five and a half years after being sentenced in County Court on her first felony conviction.
Latoya D. Jackson, 27, who has a long list of arrests for alleged misdemeanors ranging from disorderly conduct, reckless endangerment, harassment, weapon possession, resisting arrest and petit larceny, was sentenced on two counts of assault, 2nd.
On Sept. 16, Jackson entered conditional guilty pleas to the assault charges in exchange for a guaranteed concurrent sentence on both counts. Jackson pled guilty, but did not admit to committing the crime, only that a jury would likely find her guilty (known as a Alford Plea).
One of Jackson's victims, a cousin, said she was glad to see that Jackson would receive justice today.
"When I tell people my cousin cut me (explaining a scar on her face), they look at me like I'm crazy," the young woman said.
District Attorney Lawrence Friedman asked Noonan to consider the maximum sentence available under the plea agreement, which would have been seven years in prison.
Larry Ader, Public Defender's Office, argued that Noonan's best option was to give Jackson a probation-based sentence. If Jackson has finally learned she needs to go in a different direction with her life, that would be best, Ader argued, but if Jackson hasn't learned her lesson and violates probation, Noonan would be able to send Jackson away for up to 14 years.
"I'm not going to stand up her and say my client is a stranger to the criminal justice system," Ader said. "She's not. But this is her first felony.
"I think that as you well know, we don't know what it will take to finally change somebody's behavior and Ms. Jackson is quite aware that she's been given chances in the past to change her behavior and it hasn't work," Ader added. "If she doesn't change at this point with two felonies hanging over her head, you could punish her with a longer sentence than is available today."
Noonan said he agreed with the recommendation of the DA and the Probation Department that Jackson be sent straight to prison.
"It appears you've had many an opportunity to wake up and see that your life is going in the wrong direction," Noonan said. "Now you stand here convicted of two serious crimes and you negotiated for yourself concurrent sentences, which was probably a wise thing for you to do."