State Supreme Court of Appeals upholds county court conviction of Massena woman for selling drugs
Thursday, February 8, 2018 - 2:51 pm

CANTON – The State Supreme Court of Appeals has upheld St. Lawrence County Court’s conviction of Massena woman who was sentenced to prison for selling drugs.

In August 2015, Tina Savage, entered into a plea agreement before county court whereby she agreed to plead guilty to criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree with the understanding that she would enter a judicial diversion program.

Under the agreement Savage would be placed on interim probation for up to two years in order to earn a final sentence of five years of straight probation upon success of the diversion program.

If unsuccessful, Savage faced a maximum prison term of 12 years followed by three years of post release supervision.  

The plea agreement also required Savage to waive her right to appeal.

After being apprised of both the trial-related rights that she would be forfeiting and the scope of her waiver of the right to appeal, Savage executed a written waiver of appeal in open court and thereafter pleaded guilty to criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree.  

Savage then executed the contract governing her participation in the judicial diversion program and was released to probation supervision. Approximately two months later, Savage was charged with violating the terms and conditions of the judicial diversion program and her participation therein was terminated.  

Savage subsequently admitted to such violations, and the matter was adjourned for sentencing with the understanding that county court would commit to imposing a prison term of six years followed by three years of post release supervision and would order shock incarceration.  

When Savage appeared before county court for sentencing, the court honored the prior sentencing commitment and thereafter sentenced defendant, as a second felony drug offender, to six years in prison followed by three years of post release supervision—together with a judicial mandate for shock incarceration.  

Savage appealed that judgment arguing that the sentence imposed was harsh and excessive.

However, the appellate court ruled the Savage’s challenge to the severity of the sentence imposed is fair, as she was informed of the maximum prison sentence that could be imposed should she violate the conditions of the plea agreement and fail to complete the judicial diversion program.