CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Kanawha County woman was sentenced to prison for two to 10 years for hitting an off-duty state trooper last year in a parking lot.

Jennifer Garretson, 35, was remanded to Lakin Correctional Center by Kanawha County Circuit Judge Jim Stucky Monday.

Before he handed down the sentence, Garretson’s victim, Sgt. Aaron Nichols, took the stand to make a victim impact statement.

“She continues to fail to accept responsibility,” said Nichols.

Garretson confessed earlier this year to shoplifting from the Goody’s Store in St. Albans on Jan. 31, 2012. Nichols, who was not in uniform at the time, tried to stop Garretson. She got into her car, put it in reverse, struck Nichols and then fled. She turned herself in to police two days later.

“Ms. Garretson chose to steal. She chose to run. She chose to hit me with her car. She chose not to stop to let me off the back of her car. And she decided to throw me from her car,” Nichols testified.

Also taking the stand was Jennifer’s mother, Sharon Harris, who was in a wheelchair and on oxygen. She described her daughter as a “good girl.” She said Jennifer never meant to hurt anyone.

Garretson also spoke on her own behalf telling the judge she made some bad choices.

“I’m an educated individual but I’m also an addict,” she admitted.

Garretson said she became dependent upon pills while working as a state counselor with abused children. At one point Monday she turned to apologize to Nichols and said, “I’m telling you Mr. Nichols, I’m sorry. I never meant to hurt you or your family.” The trooper, however, refused to look at Garretson as she spoke.

Garretson said she has a set of goals for her incarceration.

“No matter what, I plan to spend the next two years there in [drug] treatment to change myself,” she said.

Judge Stucky decided not to grant leniency.

“Said sentence is to run consecutive to and not concurrent with the sentence imposed by this court.”

Despite that sentence, Nichols, who has returned to the job, said it won’t give him back his sense of taste and smell as well as hearing he lost in the collision.

Garretson will be eligible for parole in 2014.

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  • Larry

    Speaking of parenting, has anyone else heard the "parenting tips" from Don Tate on 580am. He was arrested a few years back for stalking his girlfriend, while married, and had a gun with him.

  • Sharon Harris

    Thank you Jennifer Smith for at least telling the truth and not changing words around (as some do ) just to make a good story. It is nice to know there are still honest and nonjudgemental people in the world! Happy Holidays to you!

  • Golfman

    Wonder who she will blame for being a fat pig.

    • Kelly

      What a mamma-jamma.....whole lotta rosie!

  • mtmanstan

    Not only have you made some very poor choices , you have also chosen to cross the "thin green line". Even if you were "medicated", you knew what you were doing when you tried to kill Trooper Nichols, plain and simple. Coming from a Dad of a WV State Trooper, I hope you rot in jail. It's only a matter of time that you will be back in public, sliming along, continuing your lifestyle that you try to blame on everything and everyone but yourself. Unfortunately it will probably take you being successful at killing someone before you really do get what you so richly deserve.

  • David

    This woman should spend a solid ten years in prison. We the people must stop being so soft on crime. People get 20 years for marijuana charges and 2 to 10 for trying to kill a person. That doesn't add up.

  • jm

    She should have to spend all of it behind bars.......Not getting any time for good behavior.

  • Sharon Harris

    Normally I would not respond to peoples stupid comments because you do not know me or my Daughter but, I. WILL this once tell you that my Daughter is a good person with a big heart that worked for kanawha and Putnam CPS and was shot at, spit on, cussed, stalked etc. And wasn' t allowed to carry a weapon to defend herself but, still went to work everyday 10 to 12 hours somedays trying to make a difference in a childs werent there then or when she went to school half a day then went to ger job for 8 more hours for 5 years to put herself through college or when she volenteered at the hospital and you werent there when the incident happened with trooper Nichols! So unless your psychic I suggest you keep your mouth off of me and my family because the toes you step on today may be the butt you have to kiss tomorrow!

    • Jonus Grumby

      Your daughter is a dangerous person and belongs in prison. A civilized society doesn't tolerate barbaric behavior.

    • Denise

      Hey Mom:

      Would you say someone is a good girl who did this to your daughter?


    • Bucky

      The only butt kissing that will be going on is your daughter kissing the behind of her big girlfriend.

      HAHAAAA. Enjoy prison, scumbag!

    • David

      I doubt you're not really Sharon Harris and most likely a troll. However just in case you are Ms. Harris let me say that the state trooper was threatened and spit at on a daily basis and you don't see him abusing prescription drugs and shoplifting. Just admit despite your best efforts that your kid is a selfish dud. She is going where she deserves to be. I just hope it's for ten years.

    • mauldawg

      Excuse me whip I wipe the tears away!!!
      Not really!

    • Hillbilly

      You say "you weren't there when the incident happened with trooper Nichols!" Were you? Because if so, mighty poor judgement on your part if she was out doing these things high on pills and you were there or knew about it. Did you try to get her serious help for her addiction?

    • Randy

      Ted Bundy worked a rape crisis hotline. Screw you for judging me!

    • Randy

      Right now I'm feeling happy for the general public that she wasn't able to carry a weapon. But still-She's good people. What threats did you make against anyone who beat her in the third grade spelling bee? But still-You'se good people.

    • mauldawg

      Nice post Mommy,but we don't care. Belive me I would never want to kiss either one of your behinds. Your dear little girl is a scum bucket. She tried to kill someone and can not or will not take responsibility for her actions. In your eyes she may be a sweetheart,but she really is just no good. Once again I hope she does all 10 years. She should never get out if I had my way she wouldn't.

  • jag

    Sorry Mommy but "good" girls don't shoplift & try to kill other people. What else has she done & mommy covered up for her.

  • Bucky

    The pills made me do it, damn it!

    Well, who made you take those pills?

    Um, er . . . I'll get back to you.

  • Brad

    Sounds like the mother is part of the problem!

    • Larry

      The mothers and fathers, or lack thereof, are always part of these problems, it's like the old computer term GIGO, garbage in, garbage out!

  • mauldawg

    Can you understand her mothers comments? She is a good girl!! What is good about her? She said she is an addict, hit a person and fled, is a shoplifter. Great person to have around abused kids. I hope she does the full 10 years.
    Now lets hear from the bleeding heart libs.Poor baby she is sorry the she is an addict,shoplifter and tried to kill someone.

    • Rich

      Bush and Cheney's Fault!

      • David


  • Polly the Pundit

    When will we, as a society, accept that drug use/abuse is a CHOICE - not an excuse. If anything, the penalties should be enhanced for offenders who admit to being under the influence while committing crimes. Why do we feel the need to express sympathy for those who self indulge and hurt others? Not only did the defendant not accept responsibility, her mother - despite her infirmities - is just as clueless. May be the poor parenting contributed to the poor outcome with this criminal...

    • Randy

      I feel that being an addict is the most forgivable infraction of hers. True nobody would become an addict if they never abused in the first place, but all of us fail big and small sometimes. But being willing to kill to escape shoplifting charges doesn't speak well in her favor.


      While it agree with you, I also believe that white collar financial criminals make choices too when they steel pension monies, company funds, credit card fraud and identity theft, etc. they should all get more time for these type crimes as well. But they don't. The whole court system is a joke from lawyers, prosecutors, judges, etc.