Mother, daughter enter pre-trial program as part of agreement

Published 8:41 pm Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Two Brookhaven women charged with shoplifting in Ridgeland in2009 will not spend any time in jail, thanks to a Rankin countyrehabilitation program.

Rankin County Assistant District Attorney Richard Simms said StaceyOberschmidt and her 18-year-old daughter Olivia, both ofBrookhaven, were charged with felony shoplifting after allegedlystealing more than $2,000 worth of merchandise from an upscaledress store.

The two are now under pre-trial diversion, which means that theyare charged and remain under bond and are on probation through theDA’s office. However, their case has not gone and will not gobefore the grand jury.

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During this time, Simms said, the Oberschmidts must complete arehabilitation program with no further offenses. Once that is done,their offense can be written off like it never happened.

“Once those prerequisites are met in that program, and there arenot tremendous issues that are raised, then this case isdissolved,” said the Oberschmidts’ attorney, Bobby Moak.

Simms said under the statute there are several criteria that canqualify someone for the program, such as first-time offenders, alack of evidence and non-violent offenses among others.

“This is a non-violent crime they were charged with,” he said.”I’ve had doctors, dentists, lawyers, engineers, police officers -I’ve got people in this program that make dumb mistakes, and thiskeeps them from ruining careers.”

Meanwhile, Moak pointed out that media coverage of the Oberschmidtcase also has included a woman named Delores Bowman, but he assertsthat the two cases are unrelated.

“I don’t know that they even know her. I don’t know her,” Moaksaid. “That person was no part of this case at all. There was norelationship.”

Simms said as a part of the program, the two had to admit thatsomething did occur, though they did not have to state their guiltor innocence.

“In order to be in this program, they’re saying something occurred,but what exactly it was is not an admission of guilt,” the RankinCounty Assistant DA said.

So far, the two are doing well in the program, Simms added.

“Hopefully Stacey and Olivia will make it through,” he said.”They’re doing fine, there’re no problems. I’ve told them this ispart of the program, this is a matter of public record, and thecharge remains pending as long as you do what you’re supposedto.”