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Pensacola woman's life sentence commuted by presidential order
PENSACOLA -- A Pensacola woman is getting out of prison early, because of a presidential action. President Obama commuted the sentences of Stephanie George and seven others, in part because sentencing guidelines have changed since they were convicted.
George was sentenced to life in 1997, after her boyfriend's crack cocaine was found in her attic.
Her boyfriend confessed, but George had prior drug convictions, requiring the life sentence.
But now she's coming home.
Rosa Albritton was at work when she found out her daughter was coming home. There were tears and excitement. Rosa tells us, her prayers have finally been answered.
"That was the worst day of my life when they took my baby away and there was nothing I could do," said Albritton.
It's the story of a mother who never gave up on her daughter.
Rosa Albritton remembers sitting in the courtroom 17 years ago, listening as a judge announced her daughter, Stephanie George would spend the rest of her life in prison.
George was just 27 at the time. She left behind her three young children.
"It wasn't really Stephanie I was thinking about, it was her babies. What were they gonna do without their mom?" Albritton said.
At the time, because George had prior drug convictions, the judge had no choice but to send her away for life.
Judge Roger Vinson even said his hands were tied in the matter.
As the years passed, so much has changed since George was locked up.
Her grandparents died, her children graduated high school and are now grown up. She even has a few grandchildren.
But tragedy struck just two months ago. Her son, 21-year-old William George, was shot and killed.
"That was the hardest time to have to tell her that, that he got killed. But, she was really strong when it came to that," said Albritton.
Albritton says she gets angry when she thinks about the important moments her daughter missed.
But, she's looking forward to the future. The thing she can't wait to do? Cook some of her daughter's favorite meals.
"She always calls on holidays and says 'Mom, what did you cook? Oh, I can't wait to have that!' Yesterday I told her whatever you want let me know," said Albritton, holding back some tears.
George will be returning home in April.