posted on July 30, 2012 14:18
The case against the Batavia woman accused of punching an elderly Walmart cashier on Christmas Eve will go to trial next month even as two key legal issues remain unresolved.
27 year-old Jaquetta Simmons is charged with two counts of assault for allegedly striking 70-year-old Grace Suozzi.
In Genesee County Court this afternoon a lawyer for Simmons argued that New York State’s “Granny Law” is unconstitutional because it would require an accused to know that their victim was over the age of 65.
The prosecution countered that prior knowledge of the victim’s age is irrelevant.
The two sides also argued over whether or not there was sufficient evidence to support a claim that Simmons intended to cause “permanent physical injury or impairment.”
During the course of the oral arguments, Assistant District Attorney Melissa Cianfrini recited grand jury testimony that for the first time brought racial overtones into the case.
Cianfrini was describing the initial confrontation between Suozzi and Simmons at the Batavia Walmart last Christmas Eve.
Suozzi had asked Simmons to show her a receipt for items she was carrying through the checkout lane.
In the heated exchange that followed, Cianfrini recounted that Suozzi testified Simmons had said, ‘I’m not going to show that white bitch the receipt.’
Genesee County Court Judge Robert Noonan reserved decision on both issues.
Simmons had earlier rejected a plea deal that would have resulted in a maximum sentence of 3 1/2 years in state prtison.
The case will proceed to jury selection on August 20th.