A judge sentenced a 23-year-old man to four years in prison Thursday for knocking a 61-year-old grandmother to the ground as he stole her purse in November, breaking the woman's shoulder.
Christopher Dixon had earlier pleaded guilty to a count of first-degree robbery in connection with the crime.
The woman was walking to Izzy's, a restaurant on Pacific Avenue in Olympia, with her 12-year-old granddaughter on Nov. 1, when Dixon knocked her to the ground and ran off with her purse.
Dixon ran off to a vehicle allegedly being driven by his girlfriend, Kayleen Gulden, and the vehicle sped away, court papers state. Gulden's criminal charges are pending.
The woman's 12-year-old granddaughter, Kaylee, presented a letter to Thurston County Superior Court Judge Anne Hirsch, explaining how watching the incident has traumatized her.
"Everybody says they know how I feel, and know it was really scary, but they don't know the half of it," Kaylee wrote in her letter. "They don't know what it was like to hear my grandma scream like that."
"I've learned a good life lesson from all of this," Kaylee's letter continued. "Because even though the memory will always be in my head, it will be like a scar, eventually you forget about it, but it will always be there."
Kaylee's grandmother also addressed the court, explaining that she's been going through physical therapy after breaking her shoulder. "I've been real limited in what I can do now," she said.
Hirsch sentenced Dixon to four years in prison pursuant to an agreed recommendation by the prosecutor and defense attorney as part of a plea deal.
Dixon apologized in court Thursday, explaining that "I was acting out of desperation at a pretty low point in my life" during the robbery.
"I pray that maybe some day you'll find it in your hearts to forgive me," Dixon said in court.
In July 2012, Dixon was shot in the hip in a McDonald's parking lot in Tacoma, Tacoma Police Officer Loretta Cool has said. Dixon was shot at the South 38th Street McDonald's while he and a woman were trying to sell pills to two transients, Coll has said. Instead of purchasing the pills, the transients demanded money and one of them shot Dixon, according to a report the Tacoma News Tribune.
Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5445; firstname.lastname@example.org