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Florida woman who coughed on cancer patient gets 30 days in jail

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A Florida woman who coughed on a cancer patient at a Pier 1 store last year in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic has been sentenced to 30 days in jail.

Debra Hunter was arrested last year after she was caught on video coughing on a customer. who was being treated for a brain tumor. The victim told officials she spend days anxiously searching for a place where she and her family could get tested for the coronavirus. The tests ended up negative.

A judge in Jacksonville on Thursday also ordered Debra Hunter to pay a $500 fine, serve six months probation and participate in a mental health evaluation along with anger management, David Chapman, communications director for the state attorney’s office in Jacksonville, said in an email. She was also ordered to cover the costs of the victim’s COVID-19 test.

Hunter told the judge her family has paid the price for her mistakes, adding that her children continue to lose friends, and that they don’t go out in their community anymore.

Before ordering jail time, Duval County Court Judge James Ruth said she was struck by the fact that Hunter’s testimony focused less on how she may have harmed the victim and more on how her actions affected her own family.

The victim told the judge she believes there should be accountability for Hunter’s actions, which is why she chose to report the incident.