A Centre County judge will have to decide if a woman facing felony drug charges should be granted a bail change.
Sabine I. Graham, 25, of State College, appeared Friday afternoon before county Judge Brian Marshall at the Centre County Courthouse Annex for a bail modification hearing. Graham was charged last year in connection with the death of Corinne Pena, 35, who was found dead along a Ferguson Township road in February 2016.
According to her attorney, Steven Trialonas, Graham’s bail was set by District Judge Steven Lachman at $150,000 straight. At the same time, an accomplice in the case, Maria K. Gilligan, 22, was granted unsecured bail in the same amount.
Gilligan has remained free during this time, while Graham has been incarcerated at the Centre County Correctional Facility.
In August, former President Judge Thomas Kistler signed an order transferring Graham’s case to Clinton County, noting that the criminal action in the case, namely the actual purchase and transfer of drugs, occurred in Lock Haven and not Centre County. The transfer was appealed by the Centre County District Attorney’s Office in September.
“Appeals are lengthy,” Trialonas said, adding that an appeal can take from nine to 14 months while his client “sits presumed innocent” in jail. If the case is eventually transferred to Clinton County, the delay will be extended even further as a new district attorney will need to familiarize himself with the case.
In addition to that, he said, Gilligan faces essentially the same charges as Graham but was given unsecured bail.
Trialonas argued that his client was very cooperative during the investigation that led to her charges, has no history of escape and has been seeking addiction treatment while incarcerated. He suggested bail with conditions, including continued addiction treatment.
Assistant District Attorney Sean McGraw advised the court to consider the nature of the offense as well as the likelihood of conviction. As Graham is facing a first-degree felony, the standard range of sentence would be 60-78 months.
McGraw agreed that the cases between the two co-defendants are virtually identical. He also agreed with the idea of bail with conditions, such as requiring continued addiction treatment.
Marshall said he would come to a decision on the modification request. No timeline was given.