July 8, 2011
Given the bizarre and embarrassing nature of the incident, it made sense for a 30-year-old Westerville woman to plead guilty to criminal charges just less than two weeks after she was arrested for drunkenly spraying sheriff’s deputies with breast milk, her defense attorney said.
Before a hearing Friday morning in Delaware County Municipal Court, attorney Brad Koffel explained to Stephanie Robinette the implications of pleading guilty to obstructing official business and assault on a family member, both misdemeanors.
“Do you need more time to think about this?” Koffel asked.
“No,” replied Robinette, who wore a formal black pantsuit with her blonde hair pulled back.
Prosecutors dismissed three other misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest, domestic violence and resisting arrest as part of a plea deal.
A sentencing date has not yet been set. Robinette faces up to nine months in jail, although she will likely avoid incarceration since she has no previous criminal history, Koffel said. Judge David M. Gormley ordered a pre-sentence investigation at the request of assistant city prosecutor Mark Corroto.
Robinette declined to comment following the court hearing and quickly left the courthouse, but Koffel told reporters she wanted to wrap the case up quickly.
“There’s no upside at all to have this case get drawn out,” Koffel said. “It’s a pretty sensational case.”
Robinette has quit drinking, and hopes to get another teaching job as soon as possible, Koffel said. Robinette was fired from her job as a second and third grade teacher at a Columbus school after media reports of the unusual incident spread globally.
Koffel said Robinette feels “embarrassed, humiliated, ashamed” over her actions. She is now staying with her parents.
Robinette was arrested on June 25 after she and her husband attended a wedding at a conference center off Sawmill Parkway. The bride’s father, an off-duty Delaware County sheriff’s deputy, called 911 to report a domestic violence incident.
Her husband told deputies his wife hit him several times before locking herself in the couple’s car. When two deputies attempted to remove her from the car, Robinette said she was a nursing mother with a nine-month-old. She then removed her right breast and sprayed them with breast milk, according to Delaware County Sheriff Walter L. Davis III.
Two more deputies arrived, who then removed her from the car.