by Steve Rogers/The Packet
Judge Lee Coleman sentenced 19-year-old Sky Samuel to five years with four years suspended and a year to serve for serving unwholesome bread. While the criminal charge may be unknown the case itself is not, having attracted international attention after Samuel wiped a hamburger in her menstrual and other vaginal fluids and gave it to a customer at the drive-through window at the Jack’s restaurant in Columbus where Samuel worked. She later was recorded admitting to what she’d done and laughing about it.
Courtney King, the Tupelo woman who bought the item, was not aware she was the victim until days later when the incident blew up on social media and Samuel was fired by the restaurant. Two other employees witnessed the act.
King was not in court for Samuel’s sentencing, which came after a 35-minute hearing.
The crime, which court observers say has almost never been used in the state, carries up to five years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
“It’s not the worst case I’ve ever seen in all my years in the law, but it is the most disgusting case I’ve ever had,” Coleman said before sentencing Samuel.
“I apologize,” Samuel said, breaking into tears as she tried to answer when Coleman asked her why she’d done it.
Her attorney, Steve Wallace of Columbus, asked Coleman to sentence her to probation or in-house detainment, but Coleman balked.
“I am sympathetic to her background…but it still is one of the most disgusting cases. I regret to say it deserves some jail time,” he said, noting the victim said in a written statement she thought three years would be appropriate.
“I hope she is learning a lesson from this,” Coleman said in handing down the sentence, which includes a $1,200 fine and four years post-release supervision.
He gave her until Nov. 14 to report to the Lowndes County Jail to give her time to make arrangements for her 3-year-old daughter and three-week-old daughter.
Wallace said he hopes she’ll be able to serve her time, which likely will only be three to six months based on state sentencing statutes, in the local jail.
According to comments from Wallace and testimony of her uncle, Gene Taylor, and paternal grandfather, the Rev. Sam Samuel, Sky Samuel’s life was thrown into turmoil when she was in elementary school and her mother killed her father. The time she spent with her mother before she was convicted and sent to prison left her “trying to find her way out of it,” Taylor said.
Rev. Samuel said prior to the murder and the subsequent sentencing, his granddaughter was on the honor roll, loved to sing, cook and write poetry and already was developing into a budding track star.
The death and the consequences changed all that, but Taylor said with the proper guidance and family support, he thought his niece could easily become “someone we all will be proud of.”
Quoting Paul’s letters to the Romans in the Bible, Samuel said his granddaughter was at a crossroads and that he’d told her not to “look for second chances every time you screw up.”
“I see the potential,” he said.