Woman accused of pulling knife on store clerk
A local mother accused of threatening a jewelry store clerk with a knife over a credit card receipt is maintaining her innocence, said the woman’s attorney.
Kimberly Anne Bartha, 42, of Mount Pleasant appeared in court Thursday on felony charges of assault with a dangerous weapon and resisting a police officer. She’s also charged with disturbing the peace, a misdemeanor.
Michigan State Police troopers arrested Bartha, a former Central Michigan University student, on Sept. 10 after an incident at Claire’s jewelry boutique, 4116 E. Bluegrass Road.
Bartha allegedly threatened the clerk, Ashley McLoughlin, with an unopened folding knife after a disagreement over McLoughlin copying Bartha’s driver’s license information to complete a transaction, police said.
Bartha was in the store at about 7 p.m. to have her daughter’s ears pierced, said State Police Sgt. Dave Kaiser.
Kaiser said Bartha initially threatened to use the knife before she pulled it, and then raised it saying, “Do you think I was kidding?”
McLoughlin backed off and Bartha fled, knocking over a jewelry stand, Kaiser said. Troopers arrested her at home the same evening.
Bartha’s attorney, Thomas Anthony, said the case still needs investigation and suggested that eyewitness accounts can be unreliable, and police reports often subjective.
“Obviously, she maintains her innocence,” Anthony said.
Bartha was released on a $5,000 bond and must have no contact with the victim and show no aggressive behavior. She was arraigned Sept. 11. If convicted, she could face six years in prison.
She’s scheduled for a formal preliminary examination in two weeks, where Isabella County prosecutors must show probable cause to proceed. McLoughlin and the arresting officers will likely be subpoenaed to appear, Anthony said.
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