This woman came to our attention when Ms. Orko was arrested for stealing $252 worth of a variety of items ranging from packaged salmon (5 packs) to AA batteries (11 packs) to instant coffee (4 jars) to about the one thing that you'd think that an 86-year old woman would steal - anti-wrinkle cream (2 boxes of one brand and 8 boxes of another brand, I believe). She went to court just the other day to answer for this charge and it sounds like it was quite the scene.
She shows up to court like she's supposed to, only she's in a wheelchair and wearing a neck brace! Clearly, when you're someone who has been arrested 61 times, you know that you're not going to be able to play the poor, frail, feeble, elderly woman act and get away with it. No, you're going to need some props. And while I understand the strategy, I don't understand the choice of props. Come on, woman! You were caught shoplifting! Did you have that wheelchair THEN? I don't think you did! And the neck brace? For reals? Did someone rear end you in a car that you had stolen? What was that all about?
According to CBS2Chicago she "was originally charged with a felony, but prosecutors agreed to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor in exchange for her guilty plea." Right. Because what if she had a felony on her record? That would be terrible! Then she'd always have to check that little box that says "Have you ever been convicted of a felony?" on every form that she filled out. That might hinder her from getting a job! It could affect her for the rest of her life! Well, what's left of it.
Even as the judge was shouting in the courtroom, Ms. Orko played up the whole "I'm deaf" facade by mumbling, "I can't hear too good." You don't speak too "good" either. Shocking, I know. Though a man clear in the back row said that he could hear the judge just fine when he was asked, Ms. Orko, right there in front of the judge, claimed deafness. And the judge, not knowing if she was serious, but suspecting that she wasn't, took the matter to the most reasonable level that I can think of. He got off the bench, stood directly in front of her and then bellowed at her, "Do . . . you . . . have . . . any . . . questions?!" MOST excellent.
It's hard to tell if Ms. Orko was embarrassed by the judge's purposeful shouting or if she was merely indifferent, but she did say, in response to his shouted question, "No. Very seldom would some judge [step off the bench]. Thank you so much." And she would know if judges did something often or did something very seldom. She's in court often enough to make that assessment quite accurately, I'd imagine.
She ended up being sentenced to two days in jail, which she had already done after her arrest, so she was credited with time served and released. Apparently she had last been convicted (for retail theft - shocking, I know) in 2006 and served time in prison until sometime in 2007 when she was paroled. Now, I don't know if she was on parole at the time of her arrest, but if so, you'd kind of think that she'd be breaking the terms of her parole, wouldn't you? But really, even if she was, is it going to do anyone any good to send this 86-year old woman to prison again?