Heather Ellis has reached a plea deal with the state of Missouri. As previously reported, Ellis, a young college student was facing up to 15 years in prison after an altercation at a local Walmart that started from cutting the line.
After the dust settled, Heather was arrested and charged with trespassing, disturbing the peace, and two felony counts of assaulting a police officer. These charges delayed her education and cost her potential employment opportunities. Black activist Boyce Watkins also held a march and protests to help bring light to this case.
When Heather refused to sign a plea deal (she insists upon her innocence), prosecutor Stephen Sokoloff chose to prosecute Heather for the original felony counts. If convicted, she could have faced up to 15 years in prison. When Heather protested her trial publicly, she was threatened by the Ku Klux Klan.
From reports we’ve received from this region of the country (Rush Limbaugh was born roughly 100 miles away), the treatment of African- Americans in the criminal justice system is abominable.
Under the new plea deal, Ellis will serve a year of unsupervised probation, attend an anger management course and serve four days in jail before the end of the year. If she remains out of trouble for a year, the charges will be sealed and the arrest will be abolished from her permanent record.
Speaking after the trial, the young sister still held her ground and seemed pleased with the settlement. She stated,
“I didn’t break the line, she actually broke in front of us. We also found out that I was shoved first and that I didn’t yell or curse. I was speaking in a loud tone as I do always. And i still think that it’s important that my story got out and that people understood the truth and heard it. If I would have signed a plea bargain or anything before, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to let the world know now and let the jurors know what actually happened.”
We’ll take a victory however we can get it because it’s apparent this was about to be modern day lynching.