Ed Meyer

An Akron woman was given a suspended nine-month jail sentence and placed on probation for 18 months after being convicted of vandalism for glitter bombing the office of a fellow worker in the Summit County Fiscal Office.

Samantha Lockhart, 25, was found guilty of the fifth-degree felony charge in a jury trial last month. The panel found her not guilty of a second felony charge, breaking and entering, and a misdemeanor charge of vandalism.

Lockhart, who had no previous criminal record, was sentenced Tuesday by Common Pleas Judge Amy Corrigall Jones after Lockhart’s pastor, an Akron city councilman, a neighbor and a family member spoke to the judge on her behalf.

She was charged with trashing the cubicle of a supervisor, identified in court as Jamie Kappler, in the downtown Akron fiscal office in January.

Details of what happened did not come out at Tuesday’s hearing, but at Lockhart’s trial in October, prosecutors said she sprayed “silly string,” threw toilet paper, dumped glitter and spread powder across a fellow employee’s desk.

A county computer, scanner, printer and keyboard were damaged along with several personal items, prosecutors said.

As part of Lockhart’s sentence, Jones fined her $1,000 and ordered her to complete 50 hours of community service. She also must write a letter of apology and have no contact with her former co-worker or the office itself.

“I was accused of things I didn’t do,” Lockhart said in a brief telephone conversation after the hearing.

She said she would have more to say after taking time over the Thanksgiving holiday to collect her thoughts.

Summit Assistant Prosecutor Teri Burnside told Jones during the hearing that attempts were made to resolve the case amicably, without a trial.

Lockhart, however, “still doesn’t understand the gravity of what has occurred” and has “no sense of remorse” for her actions in disrupting the work of the fiscal office, Burnside said.

Standing at the defense table, weeping through much of her statement in court, Lockhart told the judge that “anyone can apologize a million times about the situation but not really mean it.”

She said that she’s “a human being just like everyone else in this world, and we all make mistakes.”

Lockhart brought a personal file folder to court and urged the judge to review her accomplishments on paper. “This will tell you everything about me,” she said.

She has not been in trouble since the incident occurred in January, she said, and has been through a lot since then.

“I’ve been arrested and had guns pointed at my face,” Lockhart said. And at her trial, she said, some “ridiculous statements [were made] that were proven not to be true.”

DeAndre Forney, an at-large Akron city councilman, spoke the longest on Lockhart’s behalf. She was 7 when her mother died, Forney said, and grew up in a tough family environment, being raised solely by her father.

“She has eight brothers and sisters. She’s the second youngest. All of them,” Forney said, “were a horrible example for her. And that’s just the truth. She is the only one in her family that has ever tried to make a positive contribution to society.”

Lockhart is a graduate of Buchtel High School and the University of Akron, with a degree in political science and secondary fields of study in law and Spanish.

Forney said he feels that Lockhart has “truly learned her lesson” and already paid a price before being sentenced.

She had planned to take a job overseas, teaching English to schoolchildren in Chile, Forney said, but her passport was revoked following her arrest.

Ed Meyer can be reached at 330-996-3784 or emeyer@thebeaconjournal.com.