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Umatilla woman admits to stealing money but denies battering victim

Hannah Elizabeth Hoffman

An 18-year-old Umatilla woman who admitted to stealing more than $4,000 in cash from a wallet was charged with battering the woman she took it from.

A Marion County sheriff’s deputy responded around 11:25 a.m. March 10 to a residence on SE Highway 42, where Hannah Elizabeth Hofmann was standing outside with her bags packed. Hofmann said she had been in an altercation with the victim, according to the sheriff’s office report.

Hofman told the deputy that the victim shoved her while she was holding her infant son, and she shoved the victim back and left the residence. A friend of Hofmann who witnessed the incident said she saw the victim push Hofmann while Hofmann was holding her child, and Hofmann shoved the victim back, the report said.

The victim provided an elaborate story about how Hofmann set her up to steal the money from her. She said Hofmann told her that a relative’s home was being burglarized while the relative was away. The victim said she got into her vehicle to go check on the residence, but she then had a gut feeling that Hofmann was going to steal cash from her. The victim said she returned to her residence, went into her bedroom and saw she was missing about $4,700 from her wallet, according to the report.

The victim said she tried to confront Hofmann in her bedroom, but either Hofmann or the witness was holding the door shut. The victim said she eventually made her way into the bedroom, where she saw Hofmann trying to open the window to get away. The victim said she picked up Hofmann’s child in his carrier because she didn’t want the child to be injured going out the window of the mobile home. She said she was also concerned about an aggressive dog in the back yard that might attack the child, the report said.

The victim said once she picked up Hofmann’s child, Hofmann became outraged and grabbed her hair and pulled it slightly. She said Hofmann then struck her five to seven times with her fist on the victim’s right arm. The victim said she then retreated from the bedroom while on the phone with law enforcement, according to the report.

The deputy observed the victim’s upper right arm appeared larger and swollen when compared with her left arm. The arm also appeared to be slightly blue in color and was starting to bruise. A 7-year-old witness said he saw Hofmann strike the victim numerous times, the report said.

Hofmann admitted to stealing the cash and told the deputy where it was hidden to avoid criminal grand theft charges. The money was found in the rim of an older car parked on the property. Hofmann denied striking the victim and pulling her hair, according to the report.

Hofmann was charged with simple battery and taken to the Marion County Jail, where she was released March 11 on $500 bond. She’s due to appear in Marion County Court on April 22.

Photos in Ocala, Florida

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