Arizona judge sentences woman to spend Christmas in jail

(Courtesy: Pinal County Sheriff’s Office)

FLORENCE, Ariz. (AP) — A judge in Arizona has sentenced a woman to spend Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and the following day in jail.

Pinal County Superior Court Judge Lawrence Wharton said he wanted 33-year-old Kristi Schmidt to understand the gravity of her actions and how the holidays could have been different if she had behaved differently, the Casa Grande Dispatch reported.

Schmidt was arrested in July after police say her husband pulled a gun on a Pinal County Sheriff’s deputy while officers were helping evict the couple from their home. Kristi Schmidt became aggressive during the confrontation and captured her own actions on a cell phone, police said.

Wharton said the cell phone recording informed his sentencing decision.

The video wasn’t shown to the public, but prosecutor Kristen Sharifi told the court that Schmidt was pregnant and under the influence of illegal substances when she evaded officers and slipped out of handcuffs before going back inside the home. Sharifi said Schmidt slammed the doorway on one of the deputies

Schmidt pleaded guilty in October to attempted aggravated assault, interfering with judicial proceedings and attempted hindering of prosecution. Her attorney, Matt Long, asked for Schmidt to serve jail time over the New Year instead, but Wharton declined the request and said he picked Christmas for a reason.

He also sentenced Schmidt to three years of supervised probation.

Schmidt apologized for her actions during the hearing.

“This has been a really scary event for me,” she told the judge. “I want to prove myself during probation that I’m going to do what I have to do.”

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