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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Benassi ordered held without bond

Thursday, December 2, 2010

GREENCASTLE -- A Greencastle woman who served time in prison for her role in the death of her husband has been accused of violating her probation and ordered held in jail without bond.

Tonya M. Benassi, 37, was convicted of Class C felony reckless homicide on Dec. 4, 2008 in connection with the Oct. 15, 2007 death of her husband Tracy. Judge Matthew Headley sentenced Benassi to 2 and a half years in prison, to be followed by an 18-month probation term.

According to information at the IDOC website, Benassi was released from custody on July 21, 2009.

On Nov. 18, Putnam County Adult Probation Officer Cody Tillison filed a petition to revoke Benassi's probation. In a report, Tillison said a urine drug screen on Benassi came back positive for marijuana, and that she had also failed to maintain employment or perform community service as specified in Benassi's probation agreement.

Benassi was also ordered to enter a psychological and drug treatment program, which Tillison said she did not do.

A warrant for Benassi's arrest was issued on Nov. 22, and her initial hearing was held a week later.

Benassi admitted to drug use and to not submitting to drug and alcohol treatment, but denied that she had not maintained employment and done community service as instructed. Headley assigned public defender Joel Wieneke to Benassi's case and set a pretrial conference for Jan. 13.

To date, Benassi has served 910 days of her sentence. She could be ordered to serve any part of the more than 500 days that were suspended.

According to police reports, Tonya Benassi was driving a car in which Tracy Benassi was a passenger on Oct. 12, 2007, when the couple got into an argument. As a result, court documents said, the vehicle left a raised roadway and plummeted onto a set of railroad tracks below.

The Benassis were both taken to an Indianapolis hospital via helicopter, and Tracy Benassi died three days later.

Benassi was also convicted of felony welfare fraud on Dec. 4, 2008 and was given a nine-month sentence to run concurrently with the sentence she received for the reckless homicide conviction.

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