The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

July 9, 2012

Woman pleads guilty in theft, assault

By Wally Kennedy

A Neosho woman accused of stealing the purse of a 72-year-old woman and causing her to fall in the parking lot of Northpark Mall in Joplin pleaded guilty Monday to an a reduced charge of assault.

Jessica M. Oliver, 20, pleaded guilty in Jasper County Circuit Court in Joplin to a charge of second-degree assault. The charge carries up to seven years in prison. Oliver initially faced a charge of first-degree robbery, which can carry from 10 to 30 years, or up to life, in prison.

Circuit Judge Gayle Crane delayed formal acceptance or rejection of the plea and ordered the completion of a sentencing assessment report. The judge set Oliver’s sentencing hearing for Sept. 24.

The robbery took place the afternoon of Dec. 18. A probable-cause affidavit states that the defendant grabbed the purse from Mary Pintar and fled, causing Pintar to fall to the pavement. Pintar injured her back, neck and a thumb and middle finger, and sustained a cut above one eye, according to the affidavit.

An alleged accomplice, Kayla Madison, 22, of Seneca, remains charged with robbery in Jasper County Circuit Court. Records indicate that Madison is being evaluated for possible inclusion in a restorative justice program of the court.