"You're becoming the worst thing you wanted to be," Lycoming County Judge Marc Lovecchio told a 38-year-old woman Tuesday before sentencing her to state prison.
Katina S. Robinson, of 654 Center St., will spend six to 12 years in state prison for various charges related to a high-speed chase in March 2009 through the city's downtown during First Friday events.
During the chase, Robinson, who earlier in life had been convicted on charges related to another police chase, threw crack cocaine and heroin out of the car window and failed to stop after striking another vehicle, injuring one of its passengers.
The charges for which she was found guilty most recently include possession with the intent to deliver crack cocaine and heroin, fleeing and eluding an officer, and accidents involving damage to property.
"During the trial, what bothered me more than anything was the driving, the flying through downtown Williamsport," Lovecchio said. "I'm not diminishing the drug charges, but to some extent, those are choices."
Robinson, seeking sympathy, read a letter of apology to the family whose vehicle she struck.
"My apologies come from the heart, deep within, not from fear of imprisonment," she read, crying. "I ask that you forgive me so that I can forgive myself."
Robinson's aunt and mother spoke on her behalf and explained her past drug abuse and difficult childhood during which she witnessed her mother's drug abuse and her father's death from a drug overdose.
"I have sympathy for you," Lovecchio said. "(But) you have to stop using those things as an excuse and just go forward."
Robinson has 17 prior arrests and nine previous convictions for a variety of charges, including possession with the intent to deliver and homicide by vehicle for a separate police chase.
Mary Kilgus, assistant district attorney, cited the prior convictions and the "extreme recklessness" with which Robinson acted as indications that she has not learned her lesson. Kilgus sought a longer sentence of 8 1/2 to 16 years.
Robinson's defense attorney Kyle Rude sought concurrent sentences with a minimum of five years and eight months. Rude noted Robinson has an addiction and mental health problems.
"I understand people are going to relapse. It's part of recovery, but we have a 20-year cycle here," Lovecchio said, before sentencing Robinson to state prison.
In addition to the prison time, Lovecchio ordered Robinson to pay a $10,000 fine and to make $6,110 in restitution.
"I don't know what to tell you other than it's in your hands," Lovecchio told Robinson before she was taken back into the custody of the Sheriff's Department.