UPDATE: ROCKFORD (WIFR) – After several drama filled court appearances, the woman accused of using cocaine while pregnant has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for the death of her infant daughter.
Judge Ronald White said probation wasn’t a harsh enough punishment for Tina Lamonica, claiming she had too many chances to get clean to save her baby’s life.
Lamonica was emotional during her speech to the judge and apologized for her cocaine use while she was pregnant in 2011. However, once again the case proved to be too much for Lamonica who fainted during closing arguments forcing a short recess. Once a medical team checked her out, the defense tried to ask for probation and rehab services for Lamonica instead of jail time. Judge White says she has had too many chances for rehab and refused to get clean even after her baby died.
"We believe that this is justice for this child, we seek as an office to serve the community to protect the most vulnerable victims this being a child who was deprived the right to live because of the reckless conduct of her mother," said Assistant State’s Attorney Marilyn Hite Ross.
Lamonica admitted to having a drug problem since she was 13 years old. Judge White says as a result of that addiction, Lamonica’s daughter died just seven days after being born prematurely.
We did speak with the defense attorney who didn’t want to comment on the case. Tina Lamonica took a plea deal in August, pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter. She faced anywhere from probation to 14 years in prison.
ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Tina Lamonica was in court today, but only for a few minutes.
Her sentencing hearing was supposed to wrap up today, but an expert witness for the defense wasn't able to make it.
It's been pushed back another week.
Lamonica plead guilty to manslaughter for the death of her infant daughter, Gia, who prosecutors say died because of Lamonica's cocaine use during her pregnancy.