A Florida woman faces up to 60 days behind bars after pleading guilty to intentionally coughing in a cancer patient’s face in a retailer – however is now reportedly asking a choose to contemplate the backlash she has skilled.
Debra Jo Hunter pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault in the June 25 incident in a Pier 1 on the St. Johns City Middle in Jacksonville, the place she berated workers and coughed on a woman who captured the incident on video, News4Jax reported.
The sufferer, Heather Sprague, instructed authorities that she noticed Hunter upbraiding retailer employees as she tried to return an merchandise she didn’t have in her possession, in accordance to the information outlet.
Sprague whipped out her cellphone and commenced recording the heated encounter – prompting Hunter, 53, to make obscene gestures towards her.
“I feel I’ll get actually shut to you and cough on you then. How’s that?” Hunter, who was not sporting a masks, is heard saying earlier than she is seen coughing on the woman after which strolling out of the shop together with her youngsters.
Sprague, who described herself as a mind tumor affected person and was sporting a masks, later filed a police report, saying she had not been feeling nicely for the reason that incident, News4Jax reported.
On Monday, Hunter pleaded guilty after Choose James Ruth instructed her that he was prepared to choose a jury. She additionally had agreed to plead guilty on two earlier hearings, however the choose rejected them as a result of it didn’t contain jail time.
In the meantime, Hunter — who might stand up to 60 days in the slammer at her sentencing – stated she was not searching for “mercy,” however urged the choose to take into accounts the backlash she has endured for the reason that episode.
In a three-page letter, she stated her youngsters “proceed to undergo indignities brought on by my mistake […] embarrassed, chastised and mocked by each their friends in addition to adults. Every of my three youngsters have misplaced almost each buddy that they had,” First Coast Information reported.
She stated her household had skilled a number of traumatic occasions in the months main up to the incident, together with a near-fatal boat accident and a home hearth that destroyed their residence.
On the day of the incident at Pier 1, she wrote: “My daughter was alarmed when she seen a stranger recording the three of us together with her cellphone.
“Admittedly I used to be instantly infuriated and demanded this buyer to cease filming my youngsters. Within the warmth of the second, I over reacted in an over protecting method which in the end led to my retaliation on this stranger, the sufferer,” she wrote, in accordance to First Coast Information.
“And that extremely regrettable, cut up second, knee jerk response has price my household dearly,” she added.
Hunter additionally submitted reams of vitriolic messages she stated she has obtained, together with one which learn: “Despicable, vile skank. I hope your complete household will get COVID and suffers immensely, then dies.”