Batavia woman sentenced in Walmart assault case

Posted at: 11/14/2012 7:18 AM
Updated at: 11/14/2012 5:31 PM
By: Nikki Rudd and Amanda Ciavarri

She's going to have to spend Christmas in prison. The Batavia woman who punched a 70-year-old Walmart cashier was sentenced Wednesday.

Jaquetta Simmons who was found guilty in August of assaulting the Walmart employee is also expecting a baby. Still, the judge sentenced her to five years behind bars.

The victim, Grace Suozzi, said the assault has not just impacted her, but also her children and grandchildren. Simmons fracutred five bones in Suozzi's face. It was an injury Suozzi at one time feared she might die from.

Suozzi said, “What she taken away from me is irreplaceable. She taken away my independence and prize.”

Grace Suozzi said what happened Christmas Eve of last year haunts her. Simmons punched Suozzi in the face when Suozzi asked Simmons to show a receipt for the items in her shopping. A video of that was shown during the trial. Suozzi's daughter asked the judge to sentence Simmons to the fullest extent of the law.

Teresa Wormley, Suozzi's daughter, said, “Watching my petite mom fly across the floor from the force of the punch had me shaking uncontrollably. I recall one of the witnesses testifying that the punch was so hard she could hear my mom's bones break.”

Suozzi broke down when she explained how, after the assault, she had to stay with her daughter for weeks and couldn't even chew because of the injuries. Suozzi told the judge she even thought she might die.

Suozzi said, “I kept my scapular on preparing myself to meet our Lord. My daughter, excuse me, my daughter was checking on me frequently in case of a heart attack.”

Suozzi told the judge she still suffers headaches, has a hard time sleeping and now feels depressed and anxious all the time.

Suozzi said, “I'm no longer Grace anymore. I am the older woman that was assaulter at Walmart. She has taken my joy and replaced it with physical pain.”

Simmons told the judge, “I'm truly sorry for the incident that happened.” Again, she was sentenced to five years in state prison with three years parole. Also, an order of protection was signed for Suozzi.

Simmons is pregnant and is due next month. She will have to give birth while serving her sentence.