Suspended sentence, probation for driver in store muggingMay 21, 2014 By Eric Blom, Staff Writer
A judge said he was giving the defendant in a November mugging another chance when he sentenced her Tuesday in Lander District Court.
The defendant, Teisha Underwood, 22, of Lander, was the driver involved in a Riverton Walmart parking lot robbery.
She received four to six years in prison suspended in favor of six years of supervised probation.
Underwood pleaded guilty in March to one count of accessory before the fact to robbery.
Fremont County deputy attorney Thomas Majdic asked for a stiffer sentence: six to 10 years in prison.
He said the robbery was like a scene out of National Geographic.
Walmart was the "watering hole" where people in Riverton gather, and Underwood and her alleged accomplices, Curtis Oldman, 27, of Lander, and Adrian Sixfeathers, then 16, of St. Stephen's, went to the store to stalk their prey like crocodiles, Majdic said. They drove around the parking lot and chose their victim because she was separated from other shoppers, he said.
According to court documents, Underwood drove a car containing the two young men to Walmart on Nov. 10. There, Sixfeathers exited the vehicle, walked up to a 64-year-old woman in the parking lot, pointed an air pistol to her head, and took her purse, an affidavit said.
Underwood drove the group away from the scene and did not stop when police tried to pull her over.
Underwood's lawyer, Lori Gorseth, asked for a term of probation for the defendant. Underwood did not know a robbery had happened until Sixfeathers got back in the car, and she saw the purse, Gorseth said.
Underwood followed the speed limit and used her turn signals when she drove away, Gorseth said, showing she did not endanger the community with a high-speed chase. The defendant was panicking, however, causing her not to pull over until she reached a residence on 17 Mile Road.
Several members of Underwood's family spoke in support of the defendant and asked the judge to let her come home.
In the end, he did. District Court Judge Norman E. Young noted the defendant had never committed a felony before, but said a pre-sentence investigation concluded she was a risk for committing another offense. He also said he still did not know some facts from the incident, but would resolve those questions for himself in Underwood's favor.
Under the terms of the probation, Underwood is to undergo a one-year adult community corrections program, not have anything to do with drugs or alcohol and stay employed. If she violates the terms, she will face the underlying four to six years in prison.
Young warned the defendant he would not give her a second chance and would look poorly on it if she violated her probation conditions.