19 years for violent purse snatching

Arthur Sheard Jr. apologizes to the woman he injured during sentencing proceedings. (Aug. 20, 2014)

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — Just before the judge handed down a 19-year prison sentence, the man convicted of seriously injuring a woman in a purse snatching turned to face her as she sat in the courtroom.

“I’d like to apologize for what I had done. It was not my intention to hurt you. I ask you to forgive me,” Arthur Sheard Jr. told his victim Thursday.

Sheard may not have intended to hurt anyone — but he did.

Surveillance video from the parking lot of the Norton Shores Meijer showed the March 20 incident.

A silver car slowly drove through the lot. It appeared the driver was looking for an opportunity. He spotted his victim loading groceries into her vehicle. Sheard then drove up, reached out the window and grabbed the victim’s purse from her cart.

She grabbed back, and as Sheard drove away, he pulled the victim hanging on to the purse strap with him. She eventually hit a parked car and suffered serious head injuries.

Sheard was busted the next day and eventually charged with two counts of unarmed robbery for the purse snatching and the robbery of a gas station the day of his arrest.

The 44-year-old’s criminal record dates back more than 20 years and includes several drug, unarmed robbery and larceny cases. He’s been in and out of prison.

After Wednesday’s sentence, he’s headed back.

Sheard’s attorney blamed the crime on his client’s drug addiction.

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