A repeat offender was wheeled into the courtroom this week. She claimed to be partially deaf and wore a neck brace. The court, however, had little sympathy.
Eighty-six year old Ella Orko is facing charges of shoplifting. She was reportedly caught trying to steal anti-wrinkle cream, salmon, coffee, and batteries from Dominicks. This latest arrest marks the 61st for Ms. Orko.
According to this article from the Sun Times, Orko has had over 50 aliases in her life of small crimes.
For this particular charge, she originally faced a felony. Her attorney was able to work with the prosecution to get the charge reduced to a misdemeanor and she was sentenced to 2 day, which she had already served.
At the time of her arrest, Orko was not in a wheelchair, had no neck brace, and seemed to have good hearing. Judge Marvin P. Luckman stated “She’s an actress” in regards to Orko’s behavior in court.
Many people are repeat customers in the Illinois criminal courts. Typically, however, people learn their lesson before they’ve racked up 61 arrests like Ms. Orko.
Although she has been in front of the courts before, her plea agreement was likely worked out, in part, due to the low dollar value of the items she was accused of stealing.
Plea agreements are very common, being applied in nearly all criminal cases in our state. They are a win-win situation in most cases. If the prosecution has a good case against you, you and your attorney may agree that a plea bargain is a good idea.
Facing any criminal charges can be quite intimidating, particularly if this isn’t your first run in with the law. There is no doubt, repeat offenders are not afforded the same leniency as first time offenders.