Eula Mae Williams was sentenced to five-year’s probation on Jan. 20 for felony theft by 400th District Court Judge Maggie Jaramillo.
Williams plead guilty to the indictment in October 2016, when the court reset her sentencing to consider a presentence investigation report. The 44 year-old Missouri City woman stole over $15,000 from Mr. Sam Spritzer, a Holocaust survivor, and his wife in 2014. The Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office enhanced the charge because the victims were elderly, effectively increasing the defendant’s maximum prison range from two years to 10 years.
According to Assistant District Attorney Lesleigh Morton, Mrs. Spritzer testified at the sentencing hearing that she wanted the court to punish Williams and give her jail time for stealing jewelry from them in 2014. Her husband, also a victim, had passed away from cancer in April of 2015.
Mrs. Spritzer discussed her late husband’s accomplishments, which included surviving the Holocaust, and thereafter coming to America to become a successful businessman in the Houston area. Mrs. Spritzer discussed the impact the defendant’s criminal actions had on both her and her late husband. The fact that she trusted Williams to be the caretaker for her ill husband in their Sugar Land home, and was actually stealing from them, was unimaginable. Mrs. Spritzer testified that the defendant’s actions added to the physical pain her husband was experiencing from his cancer.
Sugar Land Police Detective Nancy Madrid also testified that during her investigation – on two separate occasions, Williams denied stealing any jewelry. But once Madrid showed Williams the pawnshop transactions for two stolen rings in her name, she confessed. The defendant never fully admitted to stealing other missing items, which included more jewelry, china, crystal, and cash.
“This was a crime about greed and broken trust. The defendant was a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” said Morton. “Unfortunately, predators like Williams exist – who prey upon the sick, the weak, and the old. Instead of being nurturing and comforting, the defendant was robbing a sick, 92-year-old man of the sentimental possessions he wanted to hand down to his family.”
Theft in this case is a third-degree felony, punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. The defendant must serve 45 days in jail as a condition of her probation, perform 120 hours of community service, and pay restitution to her victim. If Williams fails to abide by the conditions of her probation, she can be sentenced up to the full term of 10 years in prison.
“There is a reason why state law allows for theft to be enhanced to a higher degree of punishment when the victim is elderly; and that is because the elderly tend to be easier prey and; therefore, more vulnerable,” added Morton.
Attorney Kirby Taylor represented the defendant.