Benassi returns to prison
GREENCASTLE -- A Greencastle woman who served prison time for reckless homicide has been convicted of violating her probation and sent back to prison.
Putnam County Circuit Court Judge Matthew Headley ordered Tonya M. Benassi, 37, back to the Indiana Department of Correction for one year. She will receive credit for 65 days.
Benassi was convicted on Dec. 4, 2008 in connection with the death of her husband Tracy, who died Oct. 15, 2007 as the result of an automobile accident. She was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison, which was to be followed by 18 months on probation.
Because she had spent so much time in jail prior to her sentencing and as a result of Indiana good time credit (one day for each day served without incident) she was released from the Indiana Department of Correction on July 21, 2009.
Sixteen months into her probation, court records said, Benassi tested positive for marijuana. On Nov. 18, Benassi's probation officer, Cody Tillison, asked the court to revoke Benassi's probation.
Benassi had also failed to adhere to other conditions of her probation, such as holding a job, performing community service and entering psychological and drug treatment programs.
When she was arrested in November, Benassi had served 910 days of her sentence. Headley could have reinstated as much as 500 days.
Tonya and Tracy Benassi were involved in an automobile accident on Oct. 12, 2007. The accident happened when the couple got into an argument.
The Benassis' vehicle left the raised roadway on which it was traveling and fell onto a set of railroad tracks below. Tonya and Tracy Benassi were both flown to an Indianapolis hospital. Tracy died three days later.
Tonya 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.