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Pa. woman sentenced for pepper-spraying guard

June 05, 2008|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A woman who pepper-sprayed a Kmart security officer who tried to stop her and her mother from shoplifting was sentenced Wednesday in Franklin County Court to one to 23 months in jail.

Justina Woodson, 27, of 1645 Scotland Ave., pleaded guilty last month to simple assault and criminal conspiracy to commit retail theft in the incident, which occurred June 24, 2007, at the Wayne Avenue Kmart, according to court records.

Chambersburg police said Woodson and her mother, Patricia Glasco, were leaving the store when William Getz, a loss prevention officer attempted to stop them on suspicion of retail theft.

"He did not identify himself until after he grabbed me," Woodson said. She told Walker she was unaware that her mother had stolen merchandise from the store.


Getz said in court Wednesday that he asked the women to stop, but they looked back at him and kept on walking. When he tried to stop them again, Woodson "handed her child to her mother" and sprayed him with pepper spray.

"That's a little different version than what Miss Woodson had," Walker said. "I believe the loss prevention officer instead of you."

Getz said the woman made a small purchase in the electronics department, but requested a large bag in which they proceeded to stuff other merchandise before trying to leave the store without paying.

"I'm learning more every day," Walker said.

After the struggle outside the store, Woodson and Glasco got away in Woodson's car, according to police.

Woodson's attorney requested probation for his client, but Walker noted she had previous retail theft and theft convictions.

"I just thought maybe it was time you spent a little time in jail," Walker said.

Woodson asked the sentence be deferred a week because she had made no provisions to care for her children. Walker refused, telling her she could call relatives to care for the children, or they would be turned over to foster care.

Along with the jail sentence for simple assault, she was given another two years on probation for the criminal conspiracy conviction.

Woodson's mother had been sentenced previously to an alternative rehabilitation program in another state, according to court records.

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