Heather Ellis of Kennett, Mo., has quite a story to tell. It all started nearly three years ago in a local Wal-Mart.
Ellis was shopping in the store with a cousin, and the two temporarily parted ways to find the shortest line. Seeing that the other line was moving faster, Ellis went to get in line with her cousin.
She was accused of cutting the line by a store employee, who then notified the security guard. According to Ellis, she was shoved by another customer, had her items pushed to the side and was shortchanged when she finally checked out. The police affidavit states that Ellis was belligerent, loud, abusive and cursing when she was told to leave the store by the assistant manager.
Ellis’ aunt, Lily Blackmon, received a frantic call from her son and claims that when she arrived, her daughter’s head was being repeatedly banged against the police car as she told officers that she wasn’t resisting arrest. Blackmon, who was a probation officer in the town for 11 years, asked the officers why her niece was getting such rough treatment.
“I said, ‘What is going on?’ And all [the officer] could say was, ‘She cursed,'” said Blackmon.
Ellis was charged with disturbing the peace, trespassing, resisting arrest and two counts of assaulting a police officer. She was then offered a plea deal by Dunklin County Prosecutor Stephen Sokoloff. The prosecutor offered to drop the felony counts to one misdemeanor of disturbing the peace, as long as Ellis signed the plea deal. Her aunt claims that the deal was offered so their family wouldn’t file a lawsuit.
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