WJAC-TV: Jefferson Co. Woman Sentenced for Firing Shots outside of District Magistrate’s Office
September 19, 2012 at 1:00 PM by Gant Team
On Sept. 8, 2011, police said Judy Sprankle fired shots toward her husband outside of Magisterial District Judge Douglas Chamber’s office in Punxsutawney. Police said Sprankle was scheduled for court that day for a summary offense.
Sprankle was charged with attempted homicide, aggravated assault; discharge of a firearm into an occupied structure; simple assault; recklessly endangering another person; and criminal mischief. Sprankle pleaded guilty to all charges Sept. 10.
On Tuesday afternoon, Sprankle appeared in front of a judge for sentencing. Prior to receiving her sentence, family members, including her daughter and friends testified, hoping that Sprankle would receive the minimum sentence that could be imposed.
Sprankle admitted to firing shots toward her husband’s car outside of the magistrate’s office. According to police, during an interview with Sprankle that day, she said, “Take it easy. I’m not going to hurt you. It’s my husband I’m going to kill.”
In court Tuesday, Sprankle’s daughter testified on behalf of the defense. She said that she moved out of state in an effort to get away from her father and his craziness. She told the judge that he was very mean to her mother and her siblings.
The woman said she witnessed her father punching her mother in the face. She said that she saw him pull her mother by the hair when she was growing up.
In addition, she told the judge while she was a child, she witnessed her father rape her mother. She said that he also physically abused her on multiple occasions.
The woman’s husband also testified. He said that Sprankle is a nice woman and he does not feel she is dangerous to the public.
A medical doctor also testified explained to the judge why Sprankle might have snapped Sept. 8, 2011. The doctor said that he believed Sprankle was under the influence of alcohol that day.
He said that he does not believe she is a danger to the public and believes she felt vindicated.
The court also heard testimony from Sprankle’s fiancé. He told the judge that he began living with Sprankle in 2009.
He said that on multiple occasions, her husband would follow and harass him. He said that once Sprankle is released, they plan on getting married and moving out-of-state.
After more than three hours of testimony Tuesday, Jefferson County Judge John Foradora sentenced Sprankle to a minimum of eight years to a maximum of 29 years. He imposed several fines that will total $27,000.
Foradora said that he could not condone anyone that takes justice into their own hands.
Sprankle will be eligible for parole just before her 70th birthday.