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Centralia woman pleads to lesser assault charge, gets probation

In May, we discussed allegations surrounding the arrest of a Centralia woman who was accused of throwing a plant hanger at her neighbor. As police investigated the allegations, law enforcement says that the woman turned on police with a bowling pin. She was ultimately arrested on suspicion of first-degree assault with a similar charge alleging a serious assault on a police officer. The slate of charges grew into a long list.

Reports in the media indicate that the woman has resolved her criminal charges with a plea to two charges, including a lesser charge on the alleged assault. The woman entered guilty pleas to a third-degree assault charge and a separate count of resisting arrest.

The judge sentenced the Centralia, Missouri, woman to six months on each separate count. But, the woman may not have to serve that time. The jail time was suspended and the woman was placed on probation. In all, she will serve four years on probation, with the first two years on supervised probation.

First-degree assault charges can bring harsh consequences in Missouri if a person is convicted of the offense. Assault in the first degree is generally a class B felony, but may become a class A felony if there is evidence of serious physical injury to the victim. When the accusations involve an assault of many types of government workers, including a law enforcement officer, the offense can be brought directly as a class A felony—even without evidence of serious bodily injury.

Class A felonies are the most serious of offenses in Missouri, and can bring not only lengthy prison terms, but may also involve lengthy minimum sentences. A plea agreement, in an appropriate case, may be useful in minimizing the potential damages, and exposure to prison time, in a criminal case.

Source: ABC 17 News, Centralia woman pleads guilty to assault with plant holder and bowling pin," Sept. 3, 2013

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