Calling her actions "reprehensible," Lake County Judge Mark Levitt sentenced an Ingleside mother to four years in prison for selling a fatal dose of prescription pain reliever to her son, who provided it to his friend.
Carolyn Stedronsky, 52, of the 35000 block of North Milwaukee Avenue, was immediately taken into custody following her sentencing in Lake County court Thursday. She is expected to ask the judge to reconsider the decision during an Oct. 9 hearing.
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Carolyn and her son, Brian Stedronsky, 33, were arrested Dec. 4, and charged with drug-induced homicide for supplying two patches of Fentanyl to Jeffrey Ferris on Sept. 18, 2012, authorities said. Ferris, 30, was found dead in his Ingleside home shortly after cutting open the patch and ingesting it.
"Mrs. Stedronsky, your life reads like a guide on how to wind up in prison," Levitt admonished. "By selling Brian that patch, you set in motion the events that led to the death of Jeffrey Ferris."
According to authorities, Fentanyl -- a highly addictive medication used to control chronic pain -- was prescribed to a Stedronsky family member. Authorities said Carolyn sold at least one patch to Brian Stedronsky for $20, who provided it to Ferris.
Brian Stedronsky pleaded guilty to attempted drug-induced homicide in June, and was sentenced to six years in prison Wednesday.
Carolyn Stedronsky, who pleaded guilty to a single count of delivery of a controlled substance in March, said she was sorry for the pain she caused the Ferris family.
"I strongly believe no one should have to bury one of their own before their time," she said.
Defense attorney Robert Ritacca said Carolyn Stedronsky should receive probation because she is caretaker to her husband, and she was "manipulated" by her son into selling the patch.
"She never intended to serve up that deadly cocktail of Fentanyl," he said. "But, Brian argued with her and convinced her to sell him that patch ... she is a victim of manipulation by her son."
Lake County Assistant State's Attorney Suzanne Willett balked at the notion.
"Carolyn Stedronsky is not the victim in this case," Willett said. "Jeffrey Ferris is the victim here."
Levitt said he had "many concerns" about Stedronsky and her case.
"In many ways, what you did is worse than the actions of your son," he said before telling her she needed to serve time in a "structured environment" like prison.
Because that charge is a class two felony, Carolyn Stedronsky will serve 50 percent of the sentence imposed by Levitt. She will also receive credit for time she served in Lake County jail after her arrest, and some of the time she spent on electronic home monitoring after posting bond March 12.
The amount of credit she will receive remains up in the air. Rittacca believes Carolyn Stedronsky should receive credit for all the days she served on electronic home monitoring after she posted bond, while Willett believes she does not deserve any credit while out on bond. The two sides will argue that point on Oct. 9.