TACOMA WOMAN COULD FACE LIFE IN PRISON FOR SHOPLIFTING INCIDENT
April 23, 2014
(TACOMA, WA) -- A Tacoma woman either did not know about or perhaps did not think about Washington's "three strikes and you're out" law and as a result could face the possibility of life in prison without the possibility of parole after she allegedly used pepper spray on a store manager who tried to stop her from shoplifting.
Debra Genia Marzette, 50, pleaded not guilty Monday in Pierce County Superior Court to a single count of first-degree robbery, which is considered a strike under Washington's "three strikes you're out" law.
The Morning News Tribune in Tacoma reports that Pierce County prosecutors wrote in charging papers that Marzette might qualify for life in prison because she has two other strikes on her record: another first-degree robbery conviction from Washington and a first-degree burglary conviction from Oregon.
She's been ordered jailed in lieu of $150,000 bail.
The report says on April 7 a woman walked into a Tacoma Walgreens store, loaded a number of items into a shopping basket and tried to walk out without paying but the store manager, who suspected the woman might be a shoplifter had positioned herself at the front entrance.
He told the woman she needed to pay for the merchandise in the basket but the woman continued to try and walk past the man so he grabbed hold of the basket and following a short tug of war over the basket the woman pulled a black aerosol spray canister and sprayed the manager in the face.
Tacoma police tracked Marzette down based on information obtained in the investigation and arrested her Saturday.