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Woman sentenced for crashing into mall

By Tim Ruzek

truzek@postbulletin.com

A Rochester woman must pay more than $47,000 in restitution for driving her car through a wall at Austin’s Oak Park Mall in December 2007.

Jan Elizabeth Bliss, 50, was sentenced Thursday in Mower District Court in Austin after pleading guilty in July to first-degree criminal damage to property, amended from a felony to a gross misdemeanor, records show.

Judge Donald E. Rysavy ordered Bliss to pay about $47,345 in restitution and delayed a one-year jail term for up to one year of probation, court documents show.

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Roughly $37,000 of the restitution is for building repairs, and the rest is for damaged merchandise at Younkers, said Jeremy Clinefelter, assistant county attorney.

In July, Bliss admitted in court that on Dec. 6, 2007, she drove her car through a concrete wall on the southwest side of Oak Park Mall. While questioning Bliss at the time, Rysavy declined to make Bliss specify why she drove into the wall but had her acknowledge she knew what she was doing and that it caused damage.

No one was injured in the store, but several shelves of shoes in the Younkers stock room were damaged along with a support beam.

Bliss, who was not injured, got out of the car after firefighters removed the car’s rear window.

A version of this article appears in the Austin Post-

Bulletin.

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