Thursday, December 2, 2010

Beware of Cookie Monsters

'Cookie Monster' gets no prison time in robbery, kidnapping case

By Susan Spencer-Wendel

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Updated: 4:12 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010

Posted: 5:19 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010

— Stefanie Woods, who gained notoriety as the "Cookie Monster", pleaded guilty this afternoon to two felonies punishable by life in prison: kidnapping and robbery with a firearm.

Then she got the break of her life: a sentence which won't require one day of just sitting in a prison cell.

Circuit Judge Amy Smith sentenced the 20-year-old to a year in jail which she has already served and ordered her into a Department of Corrections drug treatment bed. Smith told Woods she has one chance to successfully complete drug treatment there, then will be placed on two years of house arrest and eight years probation.

"A lot of people won't be happy about this," Smith said. "But I think it's the right thing to do, and it's my decision."

Woods pleaded guilty in her "best interest," a legally distinct plea where a person acknowledges only a jury could convict of the crimes charged. The robbery and kidnapping charges stem from a incident last year where police say Woods along with two men robbed a man of his prescription drugs.

Smith told Woods the her main problem is that addiction, as well as being addicted to "horribly bad boys" and "publicity." Nothing would change in her life, the judge told her, until she conquers that addiction. She asked Woods if she thinks she can complete treatment.

"I can do it," Woods said.

If Woods tests positive for drugs, she will face from 15 years in prison - what prosecutor John Parnofiello asked for at the sentencing Thursday - up to life in prison.

But, the judge said, she wanted to give Woods a chance, citing her young age.

"You are at the point where there is no turning back," Smith told her.

Woods, manacled in waist and ankle chains, then returned to jail.

She will be released to the drug treatment center when a bed becomes available.

In 2008, Woods helped a friend steal $168 from a 9-year-old Girl Scout selling cookies outside a grocery store. The crime took on a new life after Woods and her friend seemed to brag about it to a television crew.

"Who doesn't like money?" she said at the time. "I mean I know it's a crime. But it's an easy crime."

Here is my letter to the Staff Writer:

How necessary do you (as a so called unbiased journalist) and your tabloid news organization find it to call a 17 year old girl a "cookie monster"? One would think after 3 years you can let it go but thanks for the reminder at the bottom of every single article. I love the title you came up with too- "no prison time" would lead people to think she is walking away scott free. This wouldnt possibly be to insight any sensationalism would it? haha congratulations on your recent news reporting, but not once in a year did i ever read the headline: "Millionaire drug addict son and his girlfriend rob drug dealer and are facing life in prison". Im not a reporter and i could figure this out just by reading the police report. Also a year later and not a breath has been uttered concerning the boyfriend or the drug dealer- but who cares we have the cookie monster right?

<3 Eric

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