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Woman Gets 7.5 to 20 Years for Robbing, Hurting 78-Year-Old

May 27, 2016


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Christopher Rees, 215.348.6341, cwrees@buckscounty.org

A Philadelphia woman who robbed a 78-year-old woman and then used the victim’s credit cards three times on the same day was sentenced today to serve an aggregate of seven and one-half to 20 years in state prison.

Shakira Williams, 39, was found guilty of robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, identity theft and simple assault after a jury trial in February in the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas. The victim, now 79, suffered injuries to her head, arms and hands, and required stitches to her face.

Williams, who said she has struggled for years with heroin addiction, already has served several years in federal prison for a series of bank robberies committed more than a decade ago.

Judge Diane E. Gibbons, saying that Williams had shown no remorse for her crimes and had done nothing constructive to deal with her drug problems, sentenced her to serve five to 10 years for robbery, and a consecutive two and one-half to 10 years for identity theft. She also gave Williams a concurrent two and one-half to five years for conspiracy to commit robbery.

On May 25, 2015, Williams and a co-defendant, Michael Galante, accosted the elderly victim outside the Shop Rite supermarket off Oxford Valley Road in Bristol Township. Surveillance images from the store showed the two following the woman as she left the store.

Galante then grabbed the woman’s purse while she was at the rear of her vehicle. The victim tried to recover her purse after Galante and Williams got into a car. As the car sped away, it caused the woman to fall to the pavement and hit her head.

As Galante drove toward New Jersey, Williams rifled through the victim’s purse, discarding many of its contents out of the car window en route. The pair then used the victim’s credit cards to make purchases of merchandise that they could later re-sell for drug money. Williams also purchased some items for herself.

“You have shown no remorse for what happened…Your response was, `Woo-hoo! I’ve got her purse!’” Gibbons told Williams, saying she had shown no concern for whether the victim was seriously hurt.

Deputy District Attorney Christopher Rees, who tried the case, argued that Williams has had repeated opportunities for rehabilitation, but has failed to take advantage of them. “Heroin is not the problem here; Ms. Williams’ decision-making is the problem,” he said.

Gibbons agreed, saying that Williams had chosen to neglect her own family and endanger others by using drugs and committing crimes. She told Williams that she had shown “a lack of empathy for everyone in society. And you have demonstrated that again and again and again.”

Approved for release by Matthew Weintraub, Chief of Prosecution.

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    Good job A.D.A. Rees and Honorable Gibbons.
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