CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- A Chesterfield County mother will spend Christmas behind bars. Katie Patterson told the court she was in counseling to try and figure out why she lied about her four-year-old daughter having terminal cancer.
Judge Frederick Rockwell told Patterson what she did was horrible and went outside the sentencing guidelines, sentencing her to three months in jail, starting immediately. Patterson pled guilty to felony obtaining money by false pretense.
Last year, Patterson began telling coworkers at Chesterfield’s Transportation Department her daughter had leukemia and she didn't have the funds to buy the child medicine. Coworkers began giving her money. Debbie Knight testified she took a second job just to give the money to Patterson.
Five months into the charade, a coworker spotted Patterson's healthy looking daughter with a family member and learned she was not sick.
In the sentencing phase Monday, the court learned restitution had been made. Coworkers in the courtroom said it was not about the money, but what Patterson did to them emotionally. One coworker said Patterson went so far as to tell them her father had died also.
Her father was in court Monday, sitting behind his daughter.
Patterson burst into tears when the judge rendered his sentence. The judge also sentenced Patterson to 10 years of probation after she got out of jail.