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Woman's sentence cut from 5 years to 1 for punching Walmart cashier

Jan. 14, 2014 at 11:10 PM   |   Comments

BATAVIA, N.Y., Jan. 14 (UPI) -- A woman convicted of punching a 70-year-old Walmart cashier in the face has been re-sentenced to a year in an upstate New York jail.

Jacquetta Simmons, who was 27 when she attacked Grace Suozzi on Christmas Eve 2011, was originally given a five-year sentence. Judge Robert Noonan said during Monday's hearing in Batavia he was not happy with the shorter term, the Batavian reported.

"The sentence imposed by me previously is obviously the sentence I thought appropriate for this case," Noonan said. "The appellate division has the authority to modify the sentence and has done so."

Simmons will probably be free in eight months with credit for good behavior, the newspaper said. Because Genesee County has no jail space for female inmates, she will do her time in a neighboring county.

Suozzi was punched during an argument about a receipt. Simmons said at her trial she did not intend to strike the older woman.

Simmons was sentenced under a state law that makes an assault on an elderly person by someone at least a decade younger a felony. But her attorney argued to the appeals court a five-year sentence is unheard of in the state for someone with no prior record convicted of a Class D felony.

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman said last week after the appeals decision was released the assault was far more than a single punch, with drastic consequences for Suozzi, who has stopped working.

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