Damien Willis, Las Cruces Sun-News
Published 12:08 p.m. MT Nov. 20, 2019
LAS CRUCES – A Las Cruces woman charged with attacking a stranger with a knife has been sentenced to three years in prison, followed by three years of parole.
At a sentencing hearing in Third Judicial District Court on Nov. 8, Assistant District Attorney David James asked District Judge Douglas Driggers to impose the maximum six-year prison sentence, according to a spokesperson for the District Attorney’s office.
According to court records, Pauline Leavy was accused of attacking a woman who was walking from her home to Las Cruces Farmers and Crafts Market on a Saturday morning in July 2017. Near the intersection of Idaho Avenue and Mesquite Street, Leavy allegedly began following the woman and accosting her.
The woman kept walking, making it to the intersection of Church Street and Griggs Avenue, where she attempted to wave down a security guard. That’s when police say Leavy shoved the woman from behind, causing her to fall to the ground.
Leavy then allegedly got on top of the woman and held a knife to her throat, threatening to kill her. Officers arrived quickly to the scene and took Leavy into custody.
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Upon questioning, court documents indicate Leavy told police she took the stranger hostage because “she wanted someone to help her get her dead baby out of her and thought if she held someone hostage they would help.” She allegedly told police that she held the back of the knife to the woman’s throat — rather than the blade — and that she did not want to hurt the woman, she only wanted help.
Police say the victim sustained a cut to the left side of her neck, approximately one inch in length.
On Aug. 8, 2017, a Las Cruces grand jury indicted Leavy on three felony counts, including aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and false imprisonment.
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