"Do you remember me?"
That's the question Sandy Fonzo screamed outside a Pennsylvania courtroom, after a former judge was convicted of racketeering in a $2.8 million "kids for cash" scheme to send youth offenders to detention centers -- one of those kids was Fonzo's son, who later committed suicide. She visited TODAY on Wednesday to talk about her anguished outburst.
Sandy Fonzo, whose son committed suicide after a stint in juvenile detention, blames former Juvenile Court Judge Mark Ciavarella, who has been convicted of taking kickbacks from the builder of the lockups he sent kids to. She tells TODAY's Ann Curry that her son was never the same after his detention.
According to the Associated Press:
Fonzo's son was 17 and an all-star wrestler with a chance at a college scholarship when he landed in Ciavarella's courtroom on a minor drug paraphernalia charge. Though the teen, Edward Kenzakoski, had no prior criminal record, he spent months at the private lockups and a wilderness camp and missed his senior year of high school.
Kenzakoski emerged an angry, bitter and depressed young man. He committed suicide last June at the age of 23.
Former Luzerne County Mark Ciavarella later told reporters he didn't know Fonzo and didn't remember her son's case. For anyone who watches her courthouse confrontation, however, she'll be pretty hard to forget.