By Kelly Moran
SACRAMENTO – Two defendants who brazenly cleared shelves of alcohol and drugs at a pharmacy were sentenced here Monday in Sacramento County Superior Court to six months in jail for the felony—their theft largely failed when the awaiting getaway car stalled and one defendant actually returned some stolen goods.
Shyvonne Hooker and Mark Ray accepted the plea deal offered by Deputy District Attorney Toni Linarez, with the help of Hooker’s representation, private defense attorney Russell Wyatt, and Ray’s representation, Assistant Public Defender Ashley Burg.
The store leader of the Rite Aid where Hooker and Ray allegedly stole various goods prepared a victim impact statement for the judge to consider while deciding their sentences. DDA Linarez read the statement out loud to the court before Judge Sawtelle finalized the details in the matter.
“It is my position and request that the court sentence these defendants to at least a year in jail in order to write a letter about what they learned and apologize to the store,” she wrote, adding that “the brazenness and the complete disregard for property and human safety shows they need additional time to appreciate and understand the nature of their actions and the consequences that go with it.”
According to the store leader, the defendants “cleaned off shelves of merchandise, later totaling around $2,000,” explaining “Miss Hooker filled the duffle bag with pharmaceuticals and Mr. Ray stole large bottles of alcohol and put them in his pants.”
When Ray and Hooker ran out of the store to the vehicle waiting for them outside, “the getaway car was facing opposite (the direction) of traffic,” posing a risk to nearby drivers.
The store leader wrote that, after their car had stalled, “Miss Hooker got out of the car and gave the stolen items back to the store staff,” but Hooker quickly returned to the car which “sped out of the parking lot in the wrong direction and almost hit people in other cars.”
She also noted that “it was clear these people had stolen from numerous businesses, as the car was full of bags of alcohol, over the counter medications, and other items, (including) a lot of property from other stores.”
“I thought innocent people were going to get hurt,” the store leader continued in her letter, as “they showed a total disregard for the safety of others, and the incident frightened me, other employees, and customers.
“These people’s actions forced us all to have to work late and clean up the mess they created” she wrote.
Judge Ernest Sawtelle accepted the defendant’s pleas of no contest, and sentenced them each to spend 180 days in county jail. They will have the opportunity to complete this time in an authorized work program through the sheriff’s office, if they are accepted. They will have to pay to be on that program.
Both will be under two years of probation and received a stay away order to keep their distance from Rite Aid. Both defendants will each have to pay a restitution fine of $300, the minimum amount for a felony. Ray, who had a previous misdemeanor case for petty theft, will pay an additional amount of $150 for restitution.
As part of the agreement, Hooker’s previous misdemeanor case for shoplifting will be dismissed with a Harvey waiver, meaning she will not receive a second sentence, but will have those charges considered in regard to possible restitution fines. Hooker will also be issued a stay away order from a 99 Cents Only store in Sacramento.
Kelly Moran is currently a senior at Santa Clara University, originally from Connecticut. She is majoring in English, with a focus on British Literature and Professional Writing, and is also minoring in Journalism.
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