PONTIAC, Mich. – A former middle school assistant principal was back in court Monday for sentencing in a home invasion case.
Amy Buchanan pleaded no contest back in May to charges she broke into a student’s home.
It’s been a long road to recovery for Buchanan, who was struggling with an opioid addiction at the time of that crime. She faced up to 15 years in prison.
A judge sentenced her to two years on probation. She can’t have any contact with the family. She will have to pay fines and she must submit to mandatory alcohol and drug testing.
There was not an empty seat inside the Pontiac courtroom as Buchanan faced a judge. She worked as the assistant principal at Smith Middle School in Troy.
Police arrested and charged Buchanan with second-degree home invasion.
Troy police said she broke into a home looking for prescription pain pills. She took a student to the same house earlier that day in 2018.
She apologized for her actions Monday in court.
“I know the family is not here but I would like to start by apologizing to the family for entering their home without permission,” Buchanan said.
In December 2018, Buchanan spoke to Local 4’s Karen Drew about her addiction to prescription pain drugs.
She was a lifelong sports player when she began having back pain. She sought help from a pain management clinic and eventually had surgery.
“At that point, I was prescribed 120 pills a month for a year. I just figured it was prescribed by a doctor, it was safe and they wouldn't give it to me if I didn't need it. By the end of probably four or five months, I started to have to stretch that prescription out. I wasn't even making it to the end of the month,” Buchanan said.
Those are some of the key points about which her attorney Jodie Switalski spoke.
“I tried to explain to the judge a little bit about the addiction, what happens in our brain and in our frontal lobe, how it impacts our ability to make good decisions,” Switalski said.