Woman who intentionally coughed on cancer patient gets 30 days in jail

A Florida woman who pled guilty to misdemeanor assault after she was caught on video deliberately coughing on a cancer patient in a Jacksonville store last year has been sentenced to 30 days in jail. the Associated Press reports.

The incident took place on June 25 at Pier 1 at the St. Johns Town Center. In the video, Debra Hunter, who was not wearing a mask, can be see berating store staff and coughing on a woman who filmed the incident.

The victim, Heather Sprague, told police she saw Hunter berating employees while trying to return an item she didn’t have in her possession. Sprague took out her phone and began recording, prompting Hunter to respond with obscene gestures.

Sprague had received treatment for a brain tumor.

“I think I’ll get really close to you and cough on you then,” Hunter says in the video. “How’s that?”

Hunter can then be seen coughing on Sprague before walking out of the store.

Late last month, Hunter begged the court for leniency, saying that her children “continue to suffer indignities caused by my mistake […] embarrassed, chastised and mocked by both their peers as well as adults. Each of my three children have lost nearly every friend they had.”

This Thursday, a judge in Jacksonville ordered Hunter to pay a $500 fine, serve six months probation, and participate in a mental health evaluation along with anger management classes. She received credit for one day already served in jail.

Sky Palma

Before launching DeadState back in 2012, Sky Palma has been blogging about politics, social issues and religion for over a decade. He lives in Los Angeles and also enjoys Brazilian jiu jitsu, chess, music and art.