Jahnke gets 120 days, probation

FAIRMONT – A woman who said she had a gun and threatened a Walmart shopper in Fairmont in November has been sentenced to 120 days in jail, and 15 years supervised probation.

Freda Jean Jahnke, 61, of Fairmont entered a guilty plea to second-degree aggravated robbery in Martin County District Court on Thursday afternoon.

State sentencing guidelines called for 27 months in prison. But with the plea agreement, Jahnke received 120 days in jail, with credit for 90 days served since the incident.

“Part of it is that she didn’t really have a gun,” explained Martin County Assistant District Attorney Mike Trushenski. “If she did have a gun or showed a gun, then there would be a prison sentence. … The sentence she received today is about as much as she would have gotten if the case had gone to trial.”

Along with 120 days in jail, Jahnke is prohibited from entering the Fairmont Walmart store, and can only enter other retail stores with a responsible adult.

On the evening of Nov. 9, Jahnke approached a woman in Walmart and told her she had a gun and to walk away. When the woman and her child left the aisle and their cart behind, Jahnke stole the woman’s purse from the cart. She was located and arrested later that evening, and has been in jail since.

During her court hearing Thursday, Jahnke stated she had no memory of the incident, but said she recognized herself when shown surveillance video.

Jahnke also expressed remorse during sentencing.

“Even though I don’t remember, it’s a horrible thing to have happened,” she said, her voice breaking. “And I am so sorry and want to offer my apologies to the victims and to Walmart.”

While Judge Linda Titus commended Jahnke for her apology, she also made it known Jahnke would need to prove herself by following the conditions of her probation.

“You have this opportunity to prove your sincerity,” Titus said.

Conditions for Jahnke’s probation include restitution to the woman in the amount of $91.25, no contact with the victims, and not to enter the Fairmont Walmart.

The misdemeanor theft charge in the case was dismissed.