The mother thought that apologizing to the judge would be the most difficult part of her sentencing hearing.
But Susan F. Sokolowski said in letter it actually was tougher apologizing to her children for the wrongs she committed.
"I am sorry for the trouble I have caused," the 28-year-old Wooster resident said in a statement that Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway read in court Wednesday. "I wish I hadn't ruined so many lives."
Sokolowski, formerly of Willard, cried and wiped her eyes with tissues as the judge read her statement. Huron County Public Defender David Longo earlier said his client didn't think she could make it through reading the letter without breaking down. So at Sokolowski's request, the judge read the two-page statement.
She earlier pleaded guilty to one count of trafficking in heroin for a Nov. 27 controlled drug buy coordinated by the Huron County Sheriff's Office. As part of a plea deal, prosecutors dismissed a second, similar charge in connection with a Jan. 24 incident.
Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler said he sympathized with Sokolowski, whom he said has made several bad choices for her boyfriends over the years. However, the prosecutor said society can't have people selling heroin.
"She's had a rough go. I think she's a person who has been used a lot," Leffler said without going into specifics.
The judge sentenced Sokolowski to 10 months in prison.
Conway approved the defendant to be on the risk reduction program, meaning Sokolowski could get out after serving 80 percent of her term if she completes an in-house substance abuse program. The judge also approved her for the prison system's intensive probation program and transitional control.
Sokolowski must pay $70 in restitution to the Ohio Attorney General's Office to cover the cost of drug testing.
In August 2003, she was sentenced to 150 days in the Huron County Jail for aggravated assault. Placed on five years of probation, Sokolowski was ordered to perform 100 hours of community service and pay a $1,000 fine and $193 in restitution to a male victim.
Conway said Wednesday even though Sokolowski completed a Wayne County substance abuse program, a prison term was appropriate because she unfortunately kept committing crimes.