A woman will spend eight years in prison after prosecutors say she and her partner befriended an elderly Maryland couple in a casino and then conned, stalked and robbed them.
Not only did they gain their trust in the casino, but they also followed them home. When the couple was parking in their garage, that is when the husband was robbed.
The 78-year-old victim in this case called 911 for help after he was shoved to the ground in his garage while he was getting his wife's walker out of the trunk of their car. His wallet was ripped from his pocket.
But prosecutors said the crime started at the Maryland Live! Casino where the couple was targeted.
The two people charged for this crime are 29-year-old Karnisha Loftin and 26-year-old Antonio Cecil Applewhite.
Casino surveillance video shows that Loftin and Applewhite are seen talking to each other and then appear to hone in on their target. At one point, Loftin moved the wife's walker to the side to sit in between the husband and wife. Prosecutors said she made small talk with the husband and commented on how much money he had won.
According to prosecutors, it was all part of a plan to rob the couple of their casino winnings.
It was a video trail that helped attorneys put the pieces together to solve this crime.
A video from a nearby gas station showed the pair tried to use the couple’s credit card to buy gas. When it was declined, Applewhite went in to pay with cash.
"Not only did they stalk these victims, they conned them and then they followed them and robbed them,” said Ramon Korionoff, spokesperson for the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office. “Just let it be known that you do this kind of thing in Montgomery County, you will get caught, you will get prosecuted and you will get jail time.”
Loftin's attorney had asked the judge for a much lighter sentence saying she had a daughter to take care of and was pursuing an education.
"Our position at trial was that Ms. Loftin was with another person who was doing all the action,” said Timothy Clarke, Loftin’s attorney. “During the actual confrontation, she was in the car, which the evidence showed was about 2 1/2 blocks away."
The states attorney's office said what happened here serves as an important lesson: if you are having fun in the casino, be aware of your surroundings because you never know who is watching.
Loftin’s attorney said they will appeal the sentence.
As for her partner, Applewhite made a plea deal and will serve one year in jail.