EASTVILLE -- A woman who pleaded guilty to charges in Northampton County 13 years ago and then apparently left the Eastern Shore was finally back in court this week for sentencing.
Johnifer Jackson, 37, address unknown, will serve two years, eight months of a 10-year sentence for three counts of forging a sales draft, three counts of uttering a sales draft and possession of a stolen credit card.
"It is a pleasure to have Ms. Jackson back," Commonwealth's Attorney Bruce Jones told the court. "She is my oldest outstanding case. She pleaded guilty, then disappeared."
Jackson pleaded guilty to these charges in 1998 and then failed to appear for sentencing.
Jones said the store she stole from was no longer in business and that her probation officer had since retired.
During those years, Jackson lived in both Alabama and Georgia, committing numerous crimes in both places, Jones said. He said she spent much of the past ten years in prison.
While living in those states, she was convicted of shoplifting, grand larcenies and obstruction of law-enforcement officers, he said.
Defense attorney Theresa Bliss asked that Jackson be allowed to serve her time in a detention and diversion center, noting that, "there is nothing violent in her record"
She said her client was needed to take care of family, including a one-year-old grandson.
Said Jones, "While she is incarcerated, she won't be stealing from people in the public, though she might be stealing from people in the penitentiary. However long the court incarcerates her, that's how long she won't be committing crimes against the public."
Before sentencing Jackson, Judge Robert Cromwell asked, "Why do you continue to do this? This is not the most extensive criminal record I have ever seen, but it is close to it."