A Walker County judge recently sentenced Jackie DeAnthony Shanklin to 20 years in prison for the crime.
District Attorney Bill Adair said his office initially had no interest in a plea bargain with Shanklin.
“I thought this case was severe enough that a jury was going to make the decision,” he said. “I wanted the most severe punishment.”
Adair said Shanklin agreed to a blind plea, meaning he pleaded guilty without knowing what kind of sentence he would face.
Adair added that the 20-year sentence came with no possibility of probation or parole.
According to Adair, Shanklin attempted to steal the purse of Carolyn Easton of Jasper as she walked to her car from Food World supermarket on Memorial Day of 2008.
When she resisted, Shanklin, and driver, Amy Bruner, assaulted Easton.
Adair said that, as Shanklin and Bruner fled the scene in their vehicle, Easton was still trying to recover her purse and was dragged alongside the car. She suffered multiple scrapes and a puncture wound to her chest.
Officers from the Jasper Police Department and the Walker County Sheriff’s Office arrested Shanklin and Bruner shortly after the incident.
Both Shanklin, of Parrish, and Bruner, of Jasper, were charged with second-degree robbery and assault.
Bruner has yet to be prosecuted.
Adair said an ice pick was recovered from the vehicle, which investigators believe was used in the assault on Easton.
Adair said Easton should be commended not only for her bravery in her attempts to keep her purse but also her willingness to testify in court about the incident.
“I’m very proud of Mrs. Easton,” he said. “Without her standing up, this guy would not have been inclined to plead guilty with us.”
Adair said this plea deal is part of a two-year effort by his office to clear cases backlogged for nearly a decade.