Stephanie Martin, of Mount Clemens, was sentenced on March 12 to a minimum of two years in prison as a result of stealing a truck last year.

Stephanie Martin, of Mount Clemens, was sentenced on March 12 to a minimum of two years in prison as a result of stealing a truck last year.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Suspect involved in Macomb Township police chase, car crash sentenced

By: Alex Szwarc | C&G Newspapers | Published March 20, 2019

 Joseph Tocco, the son of Carolyn Tocco, spoke on behalf of his mother. Carolyn was hit head-on by Martin, who led police on a high-speed chase.

Joseph Tocco, the son of Carolyn Tocco, spoke on behalf of his mother. Carolyn was hit head-on by Martin, who led police on a high-speed chase.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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MACOMB TOWNSHIP — A Mount Clemens woman was sentenced on March 12, half a year after she was arrested for a handful of crimes.

Stephanie Martin, who faced five felony charges, appeared before Macomb County 16th Circuit Court Judge James Biernat Jr.

The 30-year-old was sentenced to between 30 and 120 months in the Michigan Department of Corrections with credit for 189 days served on charges of unlawfully driving away, third-degree fleeing a police officer, and reckless driving causing serious impairment of a body function.

On count three of assaulting, resisting and obstructing an officer, Martin was sentenced to between two and four years in MDOC with credit for 189 days served. The sentences will run concurrently.

Count four of operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing serious injury was dismissed at the sentencing.

“You have been an absolute trainwreck since 2006, with a criminal record of domestic violence, drugs and retail fraud, which eventually all led to almost killing people in a high-speed chase,” Biernat Jr. said.

On Sept. 4, 2018, Martin, who said she was on heroin at the time, stole a vehicle near North Avenue and 21 Mile Road in Macomb Township, prior to leading police on a chase that ended in Clinton Township.

Deputies located the stolen vehicle traveling westbound on Interstate 94. A pursuit began and resulted in a three-car crash at Harper Avenue and Quinn Road in Clinton Township.

Joseph Tocco, the son of one of the complaining witnesses, spoke on behalf of his mother, Carolyn Tocco. He said she wasn’t able to attend the sentencing because it would be too emotionally difficult for her.

“Our mother was hit head-on at a high rate of speed by the defendant,” he said. “She was simply driving home from work, and because of this person’s recklessness and disregard for others, my mother’s life drastically changed in an instance.”

While Joseph read the impact statement, Martin sat with her head down and her hand covering her mouth.

Martin addressed the Tocco family saying, “I want to show you somehow that I am a good person with a great family. I want to touch on the subject of addiction and pray that you have some compassion for those with the disease.”

She apologized to the family for what she has put them through, saying that her actions had a ripple effect.

“I hurt a lot of people, including myself,” Martin said. “I’m still having a hard time accepting what I’ve done. Addiction is a real and evil thing. The person that stole that car and led a police chase and hurt innocent bystanders was me, but it wasn’t me. I have a terrible addiction that took over my mind, my heart and my soul.”

In January, she pleaded no contest to her charges.

Macomb County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Paul Bukowski spoke about a jailhouse call made by Martin that stood out.

“Not quoting verbatim, but the defendant said, ‘I’m not going to go to jail for this because I’m cute and I have a drug problem,’” he said. “I don’t think she has understood the gravity of this situation.”   

Joseph said his mother sustained numerous physical injuries, including a fractured sternum, and injuries to her neck, head, back and leg. She is currently being treated for her injuries.

“Her life has changed, from going to a fit 67-year-old woman who worked, exercised, traveled and attended every possible thing in her children and grandchildren’s lives,” Joseph said. “It is only by the grace of God that my mom is still with us.”

Martin is represented by Jayne Labuda-Szymanski, who said there is a need for her client to enter rehabilitation.

“There are long-term issues she needs to resolve with substantial counseling and drug rehabilitation,” she said.

Martin is in the process of entering Life Challenge Ministries, a year-long program for people with drug, alcohol and other life-controlling addictions.

She ended her comments by saying that she is not a bad person, but rather a sick person who has a disease of addiction.

Restitution was set at $61,050.87, over $54,000 of which is to be paid to Citizens Auto Insurance.

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