The woman who attacked a 73-year-old Vietnam War veteran at a southeast Fresno auto parts store – a brutal altercation captured by the store’s surveillance video system – was sentenced Wednesday in Fresno County Superior Court to two years behind bars.
In a letter, Shvonna Alexander, 27, apologized to Victor Bejarano and asked him to forgive her.
She also said she was under the influence of drugs and alcohol when she confronted Bejarano as he walked into the AutoZone store on Belmont Avenue at Cedar Avenue on Oct. 10.
Police said the attack began in the parking lot, continued inside the store, then returned to the parking lot. Alexander demanded Bejarano’s wallet. When he refused to give it up, she tried several times to put Bejarano in a headlock. After a witness told Alexander the police had been called, she left in her vehicle.
The store’s surveillance system recorded the attack, and it also captured images of people in the store doing nothing to help Bejarano. Once the video was released to the public, Crime Stoppers tips led to Alexander’s arrest on Oct. 23.
Alexander initially told police: “I was just defending myself from that old man.”
In her letter, however, she takes full responsibility for her actions. Alexander also told the judge she was hoping for a sentence of three years of probation, so she could be a role model for her young son. But her request for probation was denied.
Bejarano did not attend Wednesday’s hearing.
Court records show that Alexander pleaded no contest last month to attempted robbery, which carries a maximum sentence of three years behind bars. Initially, she was told she would receive 16 months in jail, but her punishment was increased to two years after the judge discovered she has a criminal record dating to 2010 in Oklahoma, where she and an accomplice were arrested in connection with a string of burglaries.
In June 2014, Alexander pleaded no contest in Fresno County Superior Court to misdemeanor theft. As part of her probation, she was told to enroll in a theft-diversion program and ordered to stay away from Vons stores, court records show.