Purse snatcher gets 10-year prison term

Published 2:03 pm Thursday, September 11, 2008

A South Point man pleaded guilty Wednesday to stealing purses from two elderly women in separate incidents on June 24.

Shawn E. Haney, 24, of 71 Private Drive 69, South Point, will spend a total 10 years in prison for conviction on one charge of robbery and one charge of attempt to commit robbery.

Each woman told Lawrence County Sheriff’s deputies they were approached by a young man who asked them for directions. In each case, while the woman was obliging the young man, he grabbed their purse.

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The first woman was knocked to the ground. The second woman fought back and was later able to identify her attacker.

On Wednesday, Haney pleaded guilty in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.

“The facts in this case are very disturbing. This is one of the worst forms of both offenses,” Assistant Lawrence County Prosecutor Brigham Anderson told Judge D. Scott Bowling as he recounted the attacks during court proceedings.

One victim was 84 years old, he said, and she was attacked at the Wal-Mart SuperCenter in Burlington. The second victim, who was able to fight off Haney, was 67 years old. She was accosted at K-Mart on Charley Creek Road near Chesapeake.

“Both victims are very shaken. Their lives are forever changed because of this,” Anderson said.

Haney’s attorney, Randall Lambert, said Haney was remorseful, but did not remember everything that he did because he was on drugs at the time of the attacks and was trying to get money to buy more drugs when he attacked the two women.

Lambert said Haney has been through detoxification since he has been in the Lawrence County Jail awaiting resolution of his case.

“He realizes what he did, he shouldn’t have done,” Lambert said.

Haney told Bowling he indeed got hooked on drugs and his life “went downhill from there.”