CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Two Ohio residents will spend up to 20 years in prison for targeting an elderly woman at a West Virginia Turnpike rest area, attacking her and snatching her purse.
Kanawha Circuit Judge Duke Bloom sentenced Bradley Molden to 20 years in prison and Stephanie Hammel to 15 years in prison on charges of first-degree robbery.
In September, Carolyn Boster, 75, was washing her hands in the bathroom of a rest stop off of the turnpike's 69-mile marker in Kanawha County when she felt a nudge, she said during Friday's sentencing.
When she turned around, she thought she might see someone she knew, or someone perhaps trying to strike up a conversation. Instead, she saw a woman walking out of the door with her purse.
"My first reaction, it belongs to me," Boster said Friday. "I took out after her."
Boster chased after Hammel, 45, who was attempting to flee to where Molden was waiting in the parking lot. Hammel kicked Boster in the shin and then shoved the elderly woman to the ground.
Hammel climbed in Molden's truck, and the two sped away, only to be stopped a short time later by West Virginia State Police.
"That was the most terrifying and horrible day of my life," Bostic said. "I've never experienced anything like that before."
Hammel and Molden both asked for lenient sentences Friday. Hammel received a lighter prison term because she does not have a criminal history, Bloom said.Reach Zac Taylor at zachary.tay...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5189.