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Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock, AR, 04/02/03

Tuesday, July 1, 2003

Artelia Withers, a 72-year-old Little Rock, Ark., resident, returned from a church service one night to discover her home had been burglarized. The living room window was broken, and several items, including a cell phone and a television, had been stolen. Police investigating the burglary suggested Withers, who is affectionately known as "Big Momma," stay with relatives overnight. But Withers said she was not afraid to stay in her own home, even though she suspected the burglar might return for her other television sets and VCR. Her suspicions were validated at 6:20 the following morning when a man climbed through her living room window. Withers shot the intruder twice with a .25-cal. pistol, and police arrived shortly thereafter to arrest the man, identified as Dennis Smith, a former boarder in Withers' home. Lieutenant Hayward Finks said Smith would be charged with burglary and that the shooting appeared to be justified as Withers had felt threatened. "She had every right to defend herself," Finks said. Withers reiterated that she is not afraid to stay in her home alone. "I've got another pistol," she said.
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