A Cody woman served a few days in jail and was temporarily placed on a form of house arrest for shoplifting while she was on probation for a sex crime.
Court records say Katie Marcus, 37, tried stealing $157.18 worth of items from the Cody Walmart last July. Marcus was arrested at the store and served three days in jail before making bail.
She pleaded guilty to misdemeanor shoplifting at an April 4 hearing, where Park County Circuit Court Judge Bruce Waters decided not to impose additional jail time.
A tearful and apologetic Marcus, who described herself as an alcoholic, said she had immediately enlisted in inpatient treatment after getting out of jail and is now completing outpatient treatment.
“I’m not blaming my disease for my previous actions that bring me here today in front of you, but I do feel as though it played a very large role in my decisions and the path that I was on,” Marcus said, adding, “Please consider not having me do additional jail time and let me prove to you through my actions that I am on the right path and I am doing what is required and expected of me.”
Deputy Park County Prosecuting Attorney Leda Pojman had requested a 30-day jail sentence for the shoplifting. Pojman noted that, at the time of the shoplifting, Marcus was serving supervised probation for third-degree sexual molestation of a minor.
That felony case dates back to late 2013, when Marcus — who was then an elementary school teacher in Douglas — had sex with a 17-year-old Douglas High School student. Marcus has said she was abusing alcohol at that time, with court records saying she also provided the teen multiple glasses of wine.
Marcus pleaded guilty to the abuse, but, with the approval of a Converse County judge, the county attorney’s office there deferred its prosecution of Marcus. That means the case will be dismissed if she successfully completes five years of probation — including by obeying the law.
Following the incident at Walmart, Converse County prosecutors did not seek to revoke Marcus’ probation, but she was upgraded to “extremely intensive supervised probation” in September, said her defense attorney, Lindsey Krause of Cody. “Ms. Marcus was essentially under house arrest for an extended period of time.”
Park County prosecutor Pojman said the shoplifting raised concerns that Marcus wasn’t taking the deferral very seriously.
“That [sexual abuse] is a very serious crime and she was given the privilege ... that most people never get for that type of crime. But then she goes and does something like this in Park County,” Pojman said. “Again, it [a deferral] is a privilege, not a right.”
Krause said the shoplifting “was a huge eye-opener for her and she doesn’t take this lightly.” Marcus argued that a jail sentence would set her back — and said she’d accept the full, maximum sentence if she violated the probation on her shoplifting case.
“I’m going to take you at your word for it,” Judge Waters said in imposing six months of probation and suspending 90 days of jail time. “You said that if you come back [in court] that you’ll gladly serve that suspended time and there’s a lot of suspended time floating around there. And I might just wind up holding you to that.”
While on probation, Marcus must stay away from Walmart — and the judge warned that Walmart may choose to bar her from the store indefinitely. She was also ordered to pay Walmart $157.18 in restitution and $505 in court fines and fees. Marcus reportedly tried to take scissors, tape, pens, ribbon and groceries, among other items.
Noting the treatment that Marcus had received, “hopefully you can make sure that sticks,” Judge Waters said.
“I plan on it,” Marcus said.
The intensive supervised probation is set to end in May, Krause said.