BATAVIA — A judge as required by a higher court officially reduced the sentence for Jacquetta Simmons Monday in Genesee County Court.
“It was obvious the sentence I imposed I thought appropriate,” Judge Robert C. Noonan said. “I have no discretion to modify the sentence.”
Noonan then sentenced Simmons to one year in Genesee County Jail, with credit for time already served.
Simmons served about four weeks before she was released after a judge granted her a stay pending appeal. With good behavior, she could be released after about seven months.
Simmons was convicted Aug. 24, 2012, of second-degree assault for punching Wal-Mart cashier Grace Suozzi during an altercation in the checkout line on Christmas Eve, 2011.
The charge fell under the state’s Granny Law, making it a felony to cause any injury to a person 65 or older, providing the defendant is at least 10 years younger.
Suozzi was 70 and Simmons 26 at the time of the assault.
Noonan in November 2012 sentenced Simmons to a five-year prison term, with two years of post-release supervision.
Simmons’ attorneys immediately filed an appeal, claiming Noonan’s sentence was harsh and excessive, citing Simmons’ lack of criminal history and her community involvement. Simmons worked for city of Rochester parks programs, tutored children and worked for Generations Child and Elder Care, tending to infants and bringing them to the elderly.
At the time of the assault, Simmons was taking classes at Genesee Community College and worked with Literacy Volunteers.
The Appellate Court, Fourth Division agreed that the sentence was harsh and on Jan. 3 ruled that Simmons should be sentenced to one year in local jail.
Interestingly enough, Simmons will not be on any type of probation after her release from jail, something that is almost always imposed for a felony conviction.
Simmons has been free since posting $50,000 bail on Dec. 14, 2012.
She appeared in court accompanied by family.
Noonan asked her attorneys, Earl Key and Ann Nichols, if they wished to speak before sentencing.
Noonan then asked Simmons.
Simmons stared ahead and said nothing before whispering to Key after about 15 seconds.
“She has nothing to say,” Key said.
“She’s not even willing to tell me herself that she has nothing to say?” Noonan asked.
Simmons quietly said “No.”
Noonan sentenced Simmons and then issued an order of protection for nine years. He said Simmons also must still pay about $2,500 restitution to Suozzi for medical bills.
Noonan asked Key whether he had any input as to how Simmons should pay restitution.
“We intend to appeal so you can set restitution payments for whatever,” Key said.
“You don’t want to be heard on what the installments will be?” Noonan asked.
Key reiterated that he is appealing so Noonan set payments at $100 a month beginning in February.
Simmons was escorted by a deputy out of court to be processed at Genesee County Jail. She will likely serve her time at Orleans County Jail, since Genesee does not house women inmates.
BATAVIA — A city woman was formally sentenced to one year in jail Monday afternoon in Genesee County Court.
Jacquetta Simmons received the sentence for punching a 70-year-old cashier in the face on Dec. 24, 2011, at the Wal-Mart store in Batavia.
Judge Robert Noonan imposed sentence during Monday's court session.
Noonan had originally sentenced Simmons to a five-year determinate sentence in state prison on Dec. 14, 2012, after a jury found her guilty of second-degree assault under the state's ‘‘Granny Law.’’
Simmons' defense attorneys immediately filed an appeal of Noonan's sentence, calling it ''harsh and excessive'' because of Simmons' lack of criminal history and her standing in the community.
The sentence was stayed pending appeal.
Earlier this month, a state appeals court unanimously agreed ''in the interest of justice'' to reduce Simmons' sentence to one year in jail.
She likely will serve much less time than that.
More to come.