CROWN POINT | A Merrillville woman who was accused of choking and threatening a shopper at a Hobart store was acquitted of the charges this week.
A Lake County jury found Chalonder L. Ervin, 36, not guilty Friday on charges of strangulation and battery, according to court records. The strangulation charge was a Class D felony.
Nikki Meanovich accused Ervin of choking and threatening her Oct. 12, 2012, while the two women were at the checkout line of the Ross Dress for Less store at 2055 E. 79th Ave., Hobart.
According to police reports, the incident started after Ervin allegedly skipped ahead of Meanovich at the checkout line. The two women then began arguing.
During the argument, Ervin allegedly told Meanovich to take control of her child and act like a decent mother. Meanovich had a then 4-year-old girl and a then 1-year-old son with her during the shopping trip.
Ervin was accused of accosting Meanovich, which left the woman with scratches and marks on her neck, police said.
Ervin was cleared of the allegations following a two-day trial in Lake County Criminal Court.
She was originally arrested on the charges Oct. 29, 2012, and bailed out of the Lake County Jail the next day. Ervin said she lost her job because of the charges while the case was pending.
“I’m ecstatic that I was found not guilty,” Ervin said. “I just want people to know that this is not the type of person that I am.”
Elvia Malagon firstname.lastname@example.org, (219) 662-5331