She was a fourth year medical student, working hard to enter a field to help others.
But as she was leaving for the hospital one morning, the young woman was confronted by Joseph Newman. He robbed her of her possessions; then he pointed a gun at her head as she lay defenseless on the ground and begged for her life.
“He looked me straight in the eye. And he pulled the trigger.”
Now, Joseph Newman has pleaded guilty and been sentenced on assault, robbery and other charges.
“This incident has impacted my life in severe and lasting ways,” the young woman wrote in a statement to the court. The bullet Newman fired had lodged in her vertebral column, centimeters away from paralyzing her.
“My doctors said I would be dead if I had not put my hand up in defense and slowed down the bullet. My jaw and right thumb were shattered. I had to wear a hard, plastic neck brace for three months to make sure the fracture did not slip and paralyze or kill me,” the victim wrote.
She underwent multiple operations and months of healing and rehabilitation. She will never regain some of her mobility, let alone her complete sense of safety.
“I became a doctor to help those in need, those less fortunate than me, but now I find myself in fear of them,” she wrote. “It has darkened a once bright future career before I even had a chance to start it.”
Detectives tracked the victim’s cell phone and eventually Newman was identified as the person who robbed and shot her.
Newman had two previous offenses and was on probation for robbery at the time he committed this crime.
Assistant Circuit Attorney Steve Capizzi recommended that Newman serve 25 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections. A judge sentenced Newman to serve 20 years.
Joseph Newman is the brother of Vincent Newman who was recently found guilty of a robbery and shooting. Vincent Newman was also sentenced to serve 20 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections.