Louisiana woman sentenced to 20 years after overdose death

Taurnena Foster / Source: RPSO

RAPIDES PARISH, La. (KALB) - Taurnena Foster, 25 of Alexandria, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for a March 2019 manslaughter conviction and a separate plea to possession with the intent to distribute CDS II in connection to the January 2018 overdose death of 19-year-old Jakelynn Ammons.

Ammons was found dead in a car at a local hotel from an overdose on carfentanil. The drug was distributed under the assumption it was heroin.

Ammons was indicted on a second-degree murder charge but found guilty by a jury of the lesser offense of manslaughter.

During the sentencing, Judge Mary Doggett announced that Ammons' family and the defense had come to an agreement about what the sentence would be and that Judge Doggett would agree to it. That sentence, 15 years for manslaughter and 20 years for the distribution charge, would run concurrently. Also, the defense agreed to withdraw two motions that were previously filed and waive any post-conviction relief.

Melissa Socia, Jakelynn's mother, read a victim impact statement to the court and addressed Foster, who cried as she did.

"I want you to know every choice we make has consequences, everyone involved in this equation made a made choice," she told Foster. "Jakelynn chose to put something in her body she knew nothing about. [...] You made a bad choice. Your children will grow up without a mother."

Socia also stressed to the court that her daughter was not an addict.

Pete Socia, Jakelynn's father, also addressed the court, "There are no words to describe the helpless feeling we had as the police officer came up to us and said, 'Sorry to inform you, she did not make it.'"

Glenn Cortello, Foster's attorney, read a letter she wrote to the family of Ammons on her behalf.

"I'm writing to you all to say I'm sorry. I could never imagine what you all are going through. My heart and condolences pour out to you," the letter said. "Ms. Ammons death took a toll on me and showed me a new direction in life. [...] I'm sorry her life was cut short. I know she had much to offer."