(UPDATED -- See below)
Last October, outside a Walmart in Whitehall Township, North Carolina, Darnell Ray Lewis Jr. and an accomplice robbed 19-year old Barbara Hausknecht and shot her once in the back with a revolver.
Hausknecht recovered, and Lewis was captured.
Now he is in court and has faced his shooter.
According to an article:
The 19-year-old woman who just cashed her paycheck at a Walmart in Whitehall Township sensed something uncomfortable about the young man outside who asked her for a cigarette.
Barbara Hausknecht told the man she had no cigarette and continued walking away with her friend, she testified in Lehigh County Court Friday. That's when the man demanded her clutch that contained about $500, she said.
Hausknecht refused, so the man grabbed her by the arm, pulled out a gun and fired it into her back, narrowly missing her spine, she testified. That man and an accomplice who was waiting nearby got on top of the fallen Hausknecht, ripped the clutch out of her hands and fled, she testified.
While she was down, the young woman continued trying to fight off the men, she said.
"He hit me in the mouth with the gun and cracked a few of my teeth," Hausknecht testified.
In court Friday, Hausknecht sobbed as she pointed out Darnell Ray Lewis Jr. as the man who shot her on the afternoon of Oct. 18, 2011, leaving her hospitalized for three weeks with possible permanent internal injuries. The woman who drove Lewis from the scene also testified and also named Lewis as the shooter.
District Judge David M. Howells Jr. ruled enough evidence was presented to send robbery and related charges to Lehigh County Court. Lewis, 20, North Carolina, is also charged with aggravated assault, conspiracy to commit robbery, theft and receiving stolen property.
During the hearing, Howells reprimanded Lewis for glaring at the victim and his court staff.
The victim and another witness were allowed to testify from the prosecutor's table instead of the witness stand.
Whitehall police said two others were involved in the armed robbery and shooting: Tymesha L. McKenzie, 20, of Easton, and Ferontay Troutman, 22, of North Carolina. McKenzie, who testified Friday, is free as she awaits trial. Troutman died last year in New Jersey before he could be charged.
Hausknecht testified she had just cashed her $500 paycheck at the Walmart on MacArthur Road around 12:30 p.m. and was planning on using the money to rent an apartment. She was walking with her unidentified friend and pushing a cart containing dog food and presents for her niece when she was approached by two men, she testified.
McKenzie testified she drove to the Walmart with Lewis, Troutman and her 2-year-old son. She said Lewis and Troutman went inside the store to buy some items, but did not come out with anything.
She testified the men came back to her car and Lewis appeared upset and then pulled a revolver out and placed it on his lap. As they were about to drive away, Lewis told McKenzie to stop the car, she testified.
Lewis and Troutman got out of the car and approached a woman and man. She said she saw Lewis talking to the man and woman and then saw the woman fall to the ground. When Lewis and Troutman got back to her car, McKenzie asked Lewis if he shot the woman.
She said Lewis answered, "Yes, because she wouldn't give it up."
McKenzie testified she drove the men away and they split the cash in the wallet.
Walmart. Save money. Die faster.
UPDATED (8/3/13): Lewis has been found guilty for the crime. From an article:
Said the judge: "Mr. Lewis, your testimony may have been the most ridiculous testimony I have ever heard in my 10 years on the bench," Banach said. "I found your testimony to be ridiculous and bordering on insulting."
On Monday, Jeremiah Carrasquillo testified that he was walking out of Walmart on MacArthur Road with Hausknecht, his friend, after Hausknecht had just cashed her check and bought dog food and presents for her niece.
He saw two men approach — the same two men who had just seen Hausknecht counting her money inside Walmart.
He said one, later identified as Lewis, asked for a light. When they gave him matches, the man asked for a lighter. Carrasquillo said that's when the two knew they were in trouble.
Carrasquillo said Lewis pulled out a gun and demanded money.
When Hausknecht resisted, he punched her in the mouth, chipping her teeth. He then shot her and continued to assault her until he pulled off Hausknecht's clutch — a wallet attached to her wrist.
"It would have been easier to pull that purse off a corpse and that's why he shot her," Senior Deputy District Attorney Tonya Tharp told Banach in her closing argument.
The shot, which just missed Hausknecht's spine, left her hospitalized for three weeks with a lacerated intestine among other injuries. Outside the courtroom Wednesday, Hausknecht said she still has pain every day and has nerve damage in her neck and back. She said she tried to go back to work, but the pain became too great.
Hausknecht said she forgives Lewis but can't understand why he didn't just take the purse without shooting her.
"He could have easily overpowered me," the thin woman said. "I pray for him. I feel bad he ruined his life so young."