Florida woman coughing a cancer patient in a viral video prison time

Jacksonville, Florida — A woman seen in a viral video is handing her finger to another shopper Cough on her face He was sentenced to 29 days in prison for assault at Jacksonville Mall.

The decision ended hours of testimony and questions at the trial of Debra Jo Michele Hunter, a woman from Fernandina Beach, a suburb of Jacksonville, Florida, on Thursday.It came despite august Judicial transaction It consisted only of conditional probation.

Judge James Ruth of the Duval County Court, from the hunter’s husband, friends and family, “broken heart” about how she had a “really big heart” and coughed to Heather Sprague, a cancer patient. I first heard the testimony that I was doing it. But after they spoke on behalf of the hunter, Sprague told the judge about the conflict that occurred just months after she had brain tumor surgery.

Sprague has given Sprague’s children what she calls “bullying escalate” for at least 15 minutes, taunting and threatening Peer 1’s staff for broken items nearby. Said he saw. She was yelled and coughed only when Sprague said she started filming the video at the last moment of Tyrade.

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Debra Jo Rupp became emotional when he spoke at a hearing of the decision via Zoom on Thursday.

Debra Jo Rupp became emotional when he spoke at a hearing of the decision via Zoom on Thursday.

After hearing the defendant’s four-page statement, Sprague said he was very “self-absorbing” without much apology to her about the impact of the viral video’s infamy on Hunter and her family.

“She chose to approach me, so she allowed herself to behave this way,” Sprague said. “… it wasn’t a terrible reaction of an overprotective mama bear. It was an episode rooted in privileges and qualifications, aimed at exploiting and attacking vulnerabilities on the premise of immunity to the consequences.”

Ruth then watched Sprague’s 40-second video clip, and in his first comment, he was surprised to see his rude gestures and coughing, “Oh my,” and it took longer than he thought he would add this “tilade.” I did. Before deciding to add prison time to the judicial transaction, he criticized Hunter’s testimony and a letter to him, and they mainly focused on the impact of public reaction to the video to her family. Said that.

“Her kids didn’t cause this problem, and her husband didn’t, and she talked about how it changed her world, and she said with Facebook. They were getting messy of their nature, and they couldn’t go to their country club or anywhere, “Ruth said.” But about the impact on the victims in this case. I haven’t seen any expressions or important expressions about her regrets yet! “

According to the arrest warrant, Sprague was in Pier 1’s store when he saw the hunter get angry. Victims recorded a hunter’s cell phone tee raid. The hunter then made a rude gesture to Sprague before asking her if she wanted her to post on social media. The hunter then stood up saying, “I’m really close to you and coughing,” and then on her face before leaving with the little kid.

Sprague is an immunocompromised brain tumor patient, and she posted on Facebook in her video shortly after the incident. She was wearing a mask and called the police four days later and said she felt sick since the incident. She said she didn’t talk to, react to, or talk to the hunter at all.

Sprague said he lived in horror after coughing when he spoke to judges, suspects, lawyers and prosecutors. Psychologically. She said she spent days looking for a place to undergo the COVID-19 test, fearing herself and her ten children, and became negative.

“The intention of the defendant’s actions may have been to convey the illness or to scare me of being infected,” Sprague said. “I was worried about the health and safety of my family and wondered how I could be isolated in the world to protect my family in a home of 12 people if I was intentionally infected.”

Heather Sprague, a cancer patient, spoke at a hearing in the judgment of a woman who coughed her.

Heather Sprague, a cancer patient, spoke at a hearing in the judgment of a woman who coughed her.

In the first part of the judgment hearing on March 24, one of Hunter’s neighbors spoke in her defense. Tally Rogers speaks through Zoom, “collateral damage” from the event, as Hunter is “deeply regretted” about what happened and just wants to move forward from what she called a “horrible moment.” Said that he was facing.

During Thursday’s ongoing Zoom hearing, six others, including retired Lieutenant Allen Eason of the Jacksonville Police Department, spoke in Hunter’s defense. A family friend said he was surprised at what he saw in Sprague’s viral video when he learned that the hunter “did not do his best”, but that is not the woman he knows.



The hunter said many people threatened her, wearing a mask and crying and sniffing, as a friend shunned her and her three children due to subsequent social media enthusiasm. She said her son had been banished at school as “the son of a woman in a scarlet letter,” adding that her shame and regret would follow her for the rest of her life.

“As a family, we collectively avoid those we recognize because of the fear they may know,” she said. “… In reality, my family is forever hurt. My kids don’t have to pay the price of my mistakes. I can overcome the ostracism. I deserve it. My kids don’t. “

The state prosecutor’s office’s judicial transaction still includes a withholding ruling and a conditional six-month trial period that requires hunters to take an anger management program. She needs to write to Sprague a letter of apology she said she went a few months ago and refund the victim the $ 150 COVID-19 test she took after the cough.

This article was originally published in The Florida Times Union: A Florida woman goes to jail after coughing a shopper at a peer store