Woman who burned herself in hoax pleads guilty

Published 8:09 am Monday, November 18, 2013

WINNSBORO (AP) — Sharmeka Moffitt, who set herself on fire and afterward claimed she was attacked by three men in white hoodies more than a year ago, pleaded guilty to one count of false swearing and one count of terrorizing in Winnsboro.

The News-Star reports (http://tnsne.ws/18hSlm4) Moffitt’s attorney, Rob Kordish of Rayville, contacted District Attorney Mack Lancaster to tell him Moffitt was ready to get the incident behind her.

Moffitt was booked on the two charges in April in connection with the October 2012 incident.

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Moffitt was sentenced Friday to five years on each of the counts, but the sentences were suspended. She will serve four years of supervised probation and pay a $1,000 fine, $500 in fees and court costs. The maximum sentence Moffitt faced was 20 years in prison on the terrorism charge and five years on the false report charge.

Moffitt, of Winnsboro, called police and said she was attacked while walking in Civitan Park by three men in white hoodies who set her on fire. Police also found “KKK” and a racial slur written in toothpaste on the hood of Moffitt’s car.

The attack was initially met with outrage and fear throughout the community, followed by disbelief three days later after police said they believed Moffitt’s story was fabricated. Moffitt suffered burns to most of her body, and the evidence indicated it was a self-inflicted act.