Ex-teacher released early from probation
Posted: 09/27/2013 at 4:28 pm
By: Lydia Sheaks
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Maria Stancati, a former Elkhart teacher, was released from probation Tuesday, Sept. 24, after serving only part of her 32-year sentence for dealing methamphetamine.
Maria Stancati was released from probation on Tuesday, Sept. 24, and her case was closed, according to her case file.
Stancati and her twin sister, Michelle Stancati, both former special education teachers for Elkhart Community Schools, were arrested in November 2008 in connection with a meth fire at their home in South Bend. The women were fired from their jobs the next month. Both sisters later pleaded guilty to dealing meth within 1,000 feet of a school, a crime with maximum penalty of 50 years in prison.
Maria Stancati was sentenced in a St. Joseph County court to 32 years in prison. That sentence was later suspended and Maria was ordered to serve 20 years in the Indiana Department of Corrections as a condition of probation.In 2010, she was transferred from prison to a residential facility in South Bend. She was released from the residential facility in 2011, though she was still on probation and had to submit to random drug and alcohol testing, according to information from the St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s office.
Jessica McBrier, director of media relations and special projects for the St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s office, explained Friday that Maria Stancati requested a reduction in her probation three times. Each time the state opposed the reduction, but her request was granted by the judge.
McBrier said that the state opposed a probation reduction for Maria Stancati because if she was convicted of another offense, the state would have to start over with her sentencing.
“Should Stancati commit any other offense, the state would not be able to impose any of the 32-year sentence, since she has been released from probation,” McBrier said.
Michelle Stancati, Maria’s twin sister, was sentenced to 20 years in prison and 20 years on probation. She is incarcerated, McBrier said.