Purse snatcher gets credit for 184 days served, which is her minimum sentence
SUNBURY - A purse snatcher who pleaded guilty in April to a felony of robbery will be released in the near future from Northumberland County Prison, where she has been an inmate for 184 days.
Judge Charles Saylor sentenced Tonya Marie Williams, 45, formerly of Shamokin, to 184 days to 23 months in jail, but gave the defendant credit for time previously served in prison, which matches her minimum sentence.
Williams, who now resides in Selinsgrove, was fined $50 and ordered to make restitution in the amount of $5,238 to Christine Meredith, 49, of Shamokin, or Geisinger Medical Center. She also must provide a DNA sample and continue with a substance abuse rehabilitation program.
She was charged by Shamokin Cpl. Bryan Primerano with snatching a purse from Meredith before being chased down by several young people. Williams also was accused of banging Meredith's head against a wall near Lincoln and Eighth streets at 1:23 a.m. Jan. 19 before attempting to flee.
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 in February.
An additional felony count of robbery was not 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, has been incarcerated since her arrest on $50,000 cash bail.
Assistant district attorney Tony Matulewicz represented the commonwealth at sentencing.