A Norristown woman will have to pay restitution and spend three years on probation after being sentenced Friday, June 8, as part of an arranged plea deal on charges she stole jewelry from elderly and disabled residents at ManorCare in West Deptford, N.J. last year.
Niesha Y. Lewis, 26, pleaded guilty to a single count of fourth-degree theft in the deal, which downgraded one charge and dismissed two others, and admitted to the thefts last May.
A contrite Lewis appeared before Superior Court Judge Walter L. Marshall Jr. and apologized for what her attorney referred to as “a terrible, terrible error in judgment,” vowing to put the incident behind her.
“It’s weighing very heavily on me,” she told the judge. “I won’t repeat this ever again.”
Lewis was arrested on May 18, 2011, after being caught with a $500 ring she stole off the finger of a 91-year-old woman at on Jessup Road, where Lewis, who worked as a phlebotomist for an outside company, was drawing blood samples from patients.
Other allegations surfaced shortly after her arrest — charged her with stealing a $200 gold chain and pendant from a 71-year-old man, and a total of $550 from a blind woman. Lewis was eventually .
Marshall noted Lewis’ previous conviction in Pennsylvania for fraud during his sentencing, and ordered her to pay $400 in restitution to her victims, one of whom has since died, as part of the sentence. While her probation is originating in New Jersey, Marshall said Lewis can transfer it to Pennsylvania.
Lewis could have faced as much as 18 months in prison and a $10,000 fine, had she gone to trial on the single count of fourth-degree theft, and more, had the original charges gone to trial.