81-Year Old Woman Found Guilty

An 81 year old woman faces up to three years in prison.

A jury today found Betty Chambers guilty of assaulting a police officer.
The verdict was returned after some two and a half hours of deliberations.

Chambers was convicted of a single count of battery.

During her trial, Chambers admitted that she used a wooden cane to hit a St. Joseph County police officer in February of 2005.

However, Chambers attorney claims she acted in self defense.

During closing arguments, Defense Attorney Dave Newman said, “just because you have a uniform, doesn’t give you a free pass.”

He claims that officers who went to Chamber’s home to check on her well being, acted overly aggressive in a physical confrontation with Chamber’s caregiver.

The defense argued that Chambers feared her caregiver would be killed, if she didn’t intervene.

The defense also emphasized the fact that both of the officers who were involved in the scuffle at Chamber’s home that day--- have filed civil lawsuits seeking monetary damages.

Newman called the criminal case a “greedy quest” for money, on the part of the officers.

Chambers was visibly shaken as she left the courtroom saying, “Anybody who would beat up on an old lady, and get by with it, is that right?”

But Deputy Prosecutor Eric Tamashasky said, “age is not a defense to attacking a police officer, whether it’s a child, or somebody over 65.”

Tamashasky says the case was well worth pursuing over the past two years. He added that the verdict “vindicates that these officers were just doing their jobs.”

In closing arguments, the prosecution argued that Chambers did not have a right to ambush people who were there to protect her, no matter how old she was.

Chambers will be sentenced on May 15th.

She could receive anywhere from zero, to three years behind bars.

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