SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

November 20, 2012

Woman to spend only weekends in jail

Judge hears mercy plea from 25-year-old facing armed-robbery charge

(Continued)

An off-duty Wenham police officer heard over his two-way radio that police were looking for a yellow car. Then he saw it, took down the plate number and called it in. The pair were stopped, and police immediately noticed money falling out of Gallela’s sweatshirt. They also found drugs in Mazac’s purse.

Woodard had recommended a two-year prison term for Mazac. Her lawyer, Michael Cioffi, hoped to persuade Lowy to impose probation, but the judge had already indicated during a prior hearing that he would impose a year in jail.

Cioffi made one more try for probation, submitting a stack of letters and pointing to the 14 family members and friends who had come to court to support Mazac, who had no record. “Ms. Mazac was an impeccable citizen, an impeccable child, an impeccable student.”

That changed when she became addicted to drugs and then fell into a relationship with Gallela.

After their arrests, she was eventually released on bail conditions. She used the time to enroll in a drug treatment program, and then got a job at a chain drugstore, where she quickly won a promotion to assistant manager.

Jail would interrupt the progress she’s made, Cioffi told the judge.

“I absolutely am guilty,” Mazac told the judge. “I feel absolutely terrible. I can’t take it back. I wasn’t in my right mind. I’m not making excuses, but it’s not who I am.”

“I’m afraid if I go (to jail), my recovery is going to be lost and I’m going to lose myself all over again,” she said, shaking and choking back tears. “Everyone deserves a chance, just one chance. That’s what I’m asking you to do.”

After a brief recess, Lowy returned to the courtroom. The victim, he said “deserved none of this.”

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