The Franklin News-Post|
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Monday, December 3, 2012
By KEN BRADLEY - Staff Writer
A Rocky Mount woman was sentenced to 26 years in prison last week in Roanoke Circuit Court for stealing wedding rings from elderly veterans at a health care center.
All but eight years of the sentence imposed on Brittney
Heather Cook, 23, was suspended by Circuit Court Judge Clifford Weckstein.
Cook will also be on probation for five years after she is released from prison and must pay $255 in restitution to two pawn shops in Roanoke where the stolen rings were sold, according to Roanoke Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Josh Dietz.
Cook was also ordered to never work as a nurse, nurse's assistant or caregiver again.
Cook was a nursing assistant at the Virginia Veterans' Center in Roanoke when the thefts of the rings occurred on Jan. 14 and 15, Dietz said.
Another nursing assistant, Ashley Michelle Sweeney, 23, of Ferrum pleaded guilty on July 10 to four counts of receiving stolen property and four counts of selling stolen property. She was sentenced to 24 years in prison with all but five years suspended.
Cook and Sweeney were working as contract nursing assistants when they were arrested in February during an investigation of ring thefts at the veterans' care center, Dietz said.
The rings were sold at two pawn shops for $360, Dietz said. An appraisal of the rings valued them at $4,600.
The victims in the case were elderly, ranging in age from 77 to 89, and had served either in World War II or the Korean War, Dietz said.