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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