- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 20, 2014

UNIONTOWN, Pa. (AP) - One of two sisters charged in a purse-snatching that broke the hip of an 82-year-old Pennsylvania woman who died months later has been sentenced to nine to 20 years in prison.

Brittany Boyd, 25, pleaded guilty earlier this month to charges including robbery and aggravated assault in the March 2012 robbery outside a southwestern Pennsylvania Wal-Mart.

Boyd said she was a heroin addict looking for money when she took the purse from Mary Yourchik’s shopping cart outside the Fayette County store. She said the victim chased her back to her car and then fell. Boyd said she then drove off. Yourchik’s children said she suffered a stroke less than three months later and died in November.

Boyd tearfully apologized Monday, turning to face Yourchik’s children.

“I realize what I have done. I hope one day you can forgive me,” she said.

But Judge Steve Leskinen noted her previous offenses and said she had multiple opportunities to change the course that she was on.

When she lamented that she wouldn’t be able to see her four children, the judge said: “They may be better off without you.”

Before sentencing, Kathy Yourchick told the court that her mother was never the same after the robbery.

“She was never able to walk again without aid. She was never able to put her shoes and socks on again. She never drove her car again,” Kathy Yourchick said. “I had to crawl in bed with her until she fell asleep because she was afraid to go to sleep because of what you did. You crushed her.”

Another of Yourchik’s children, Julie Grubb, testified that if the Boyd sisters had asked, her mother would have given them money.

“She was gracious,” Grubb said. “She was loving. She was kind. She was truly beautiful, inside and out. You took that beauty away from us.”

Jenna Boyd, 26, is to be tried later on charges of conspiracy, theft and child endangerment. She attempted to enter a guilty plea when her sister did, but the judge refused to accept it after she said she hadn’t had advance knowledge of the crime.

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