A Florida woman has been sentenced to 30 days behind bars after pleading guilty to deliberately coughing in a cancer patient’s face at the height of the coronavirus pandemic in an interaction caught on video last year.
Debra Jo Hunter, 53, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault in the June 25 incident in a Pier 1 store at the St. Johns Town Center in Jacksonville, where she berated store employees and coughed on a woman who began filming the incident, WJXT, an independent TV station in Jacksonville reported.
According to The New York Times, a Jacksonville judge sentenced her to 30 days in jail, which cited court records.
Hunter is also required to serve six months probation and be subject to a mental health evaluation and anger management, according to an email obtained by the Associated Press.
The victim, Heather Sprague, told authorities at the time that she began filming as a mask-less Hunter berated store staff for not allowing her to return an item she didn’t have in her possession, the TV station reported.
Sprague, who described herself as a brain tumor patient and was wearing a mask, began recording the heated encounter – prompting Hunter, 53, to make obscene gestures toward her.