BATAVIA, N.Y. (WIVB) – A woman who was convicted of punching a Walmart greeter in Batavia had her sentenced reduced in court on Monday.
Jacquetta Simmons was sentenced to five years behind bars last year for punching a Walmart greeter in the face. But a judge determined that sentence was too harsh.
Defense attorney Ann Nichols said, “If you look across the state, which we did in getting the stay from the appellate division to begin with, it’s very unusual for a first time offender to receive a sentence of five years incarceration. It doesn’t happen all that often. I looked at the data myself, I talked to DOCS, that is almost unheard of.”
Simmons was caught on camera punching Grace Suozzi as she worked at Walmart, Christmas Eve of 2011. Suozzi was 70 years old at the time.
In November 2012, Suozzi said, “I do not have a normal life anymore. She has taken away my health, that I worked so hard to maintain without medication. Now I’m forced to be on blood pressure and pain medication.”
Simmons was sentenced to five years under a state law known as the Granny Law. It makes it a felony to intentionally injure a person 65 or older. During her sentencing in November, Simmons apologized.
Simmons said, “I just want to say how truly sorry I am, about the incident that happened. I hate that Grace and her family had to endure all the things that they’re going through right now.”
Genesee County District Attorney Lawrence Friedman said, “I don’t think anything could be further from the truth. She absolutely did not accept any responsibility for what she did.”
Just weeks after that sentencing in November of 2012, an appellate judge stayed the sentence, stating that it did not fit her conviction for second-degree assault.
Under a stayed sentence, Simmons would not serve any further jail time if she completed probation without any issues. But in court on Monday, a judge ordered Simmons to spend one year behind bars. She was immediately taken into custody.
Her attorneys are appealing the $2,100 in restitution she was ordered to pay to the victim.