Walla Walla woman sentenced in assault, theft at store

Vanessa M. Drake received 30 days on a work crew for the crimes last summer.

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WALLA WALLA -- A woman who pleaded guilty to an assault and theft at a local department store was ordered Monday to serve 30 days on the Department of Corrections work crew.

Vanessa M. Drake, 29, of 901 W. Poplar St., was sentenced by Walla Walla Superior Court Judge John Lohrmann. She had pleaded guilty last month to one count each of third-degree assault and second-degree theft and faced a standard-range sentence of three to eight months in jail.

The prosecution and defense, however, recommended that sentence be waived under a first-time offender option and Lohrmann agreed. He credited Drake with two days already served in jail, leaving her to serve 28 days with the DOC work crew. She was also sentenced to 12 months of community custody and must pay about $1,658 in fines, fees and court costs.

According to police, Drake was seen taking clothing and jewelry items from the Macy's store at 54 E. Main St. without paying for them on the morning of July 27.

When the store's security officer, Ashley Rakestraw, confronted her outside, Drake hit Rakestraw in the face with her hand, threw the clothing items at Rakestraw and fled, according to the police report filed in court. She was apprehended a short time later near Fifth Avenue and Main Street.

Andy Porter can be reached at andyporter@wwub.com or 526-8318. Check out his blog at blogs.ublabs.org/randomthoughts.

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