Allegedly purse snatcher pleads guilty
SUNBURY - A Shamokin woman charged with snatching a purse from a female in January before being chased down by several young people pleaded guilty Monday to a felony count of robbery and will be sentenced within 90 days.
Tonya Marie Williams, 44, of 19 E. Independence St., entered the plea before Northumberland County Judge Charles Saylor, who ordered a pre-sentence investigation.
The standard sentencing range for the offense is six to 14 months in county prison, according to assistant district attorney Michael Toomey, who is prosecuting the case.
An additional felony count of robbery will not be prosecuted under a plea agreement reached with the district attorney's office.
Williams, who was represented by public defender Melissa Norton, has shown remorse for committing the strong-armed robbery and has no prior criminal record.
She previously attributed the crime to her addiction to crack cocaine.
The defendant, who formerly resided in Rhode Island, remains in Northumberland County Prison in lieu of $50,000 cash bail.
She is charged by Shamokin Cpl. Bryan Primerano with pulling a purse from a 49-year-old Shamokin woman and banging the woman's head against a wall near Lincoln and Eighth streets at 1:23 a.m. Jan. 19 before running off.
The victim told police five teens riding in a Jeep on Eighth Street came to her rescue by intervening in the robbery and chasing and detaining Williams until police arrived.
The teens are Brennan Bruce, 18; Chelsie Cossari, 20; Michael Lorenz-Koons, 19, and Mason Dumond, 15, all of Shamokin, and Alex Witcoskie, 19, of Marion Heights.
They were commended by police and members of city council, who presented them with certificates of appreciation for their heroic actions.