Mahoning County judge says woman’s ‘song and dance’ won’t work again

Local News

Christine Smith tugged on a judge’s heartstrings once, and Friday the judge said he wouldn’t let her do it again

Christine Smith tugged on a judge’s heartstrings once, and Friday the judge said he wouldn’t let her do it again.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Christine Smith tugged on a judge’s heartstrings once, and Friday the judge said he wouldn’t let her do it again.

Smith received a six-month jail sentence in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court for stealing almost $1,500 worth of cosmetics from a Boardman store.

The jail sentence was part of five years probation that Smith received from Judge Anthony Donofrio after a guilty plea earlier this year to a fifth-degree felony charge of theft.

The sentence was recommended by prosecutors. Smith is also ordered to pay $1,490 restitution to Ulta for the cosmetics she stole.

She was sentenced via video from the county jail.

Smith had earlier asked Judge Donofrio if she could be released on bond so she could work to pay back the restitution and to also take care of her son.

The judge agreed, but Smith failed to show up for a Feb. 4 sentencing date.

Smith was booked into the jail Sunday after she was arrested by city police for forcing her way inside a West Side home, according to a police report. She faces a burglary charge in that case.

Judge Donofrio said he was upset because Smith missed her sentencing date and quite possibly blew a chance to receive a probation sentence with no jail time.

“You tugged at my heartstrings. It was all about your kids,” Judge Donofrio said of the time he agreed to release Smith on bail. “You gave me an extended song and dance.”

Smith said she was sorry. She told the judge she had a job for a short time but then lost it, and she fell back to living on the streets and using drugs again.

“I was scared,” she said of why she missed court. “I didn’t pay my restitution.”

“Isn’t it scary living on the streets and doing drugs?” Judge Donofrio asked her.

“It is,” she replied. “I’ve been doing it for 17 years.”

Smith, 37, has a 21-year-old son and she said she has been an addict for most of his life. She had a period where she was clean but relapsed and started using drugs again, she told the court.

On Sunday, she said she was on Xanax when she burst into the home she was arrested in.

“I was out of my mind,” she said. “I thought it was my mom’s house.”

Judge Donofrio said Smith should go to prison, but with the COVID-19 crisis, the state wants judges to avoid sending people to prison, if possible.

At the end of her six months, Smith is to be evaluated for drug treatment, and she must comply with whatever treatment options are recommended as part of her probation.

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