Sisters ordered to stand trial in South Union purse-snatching that injured elderly woman

| Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

An elderly Fayette County woman whose hip was broken in a purse-snatching has since had a stroke and is in a nursing home, according to one of her daughters who testified during a preliminary hearing on Wednesday for two sisters who are accused in the theft.

Kathy Yourchik of Uniontown testified her 82-year-old mother, Mary Margaret Yourchik, was in good health and able to drive herself to church and other places before the March 22 attack in the parking lot of the South Union Wal-Mart.

“She needed nobody for anything,” Yourchik testified during the hearing for sisters Brittany and Jenna Boyd of North Union. “She was 100 percent independent.”

The Boyds were held for trial during the hearing before District Judge Joseph George Jr.

Brittany Boyd took Yourchik's purse as she pushed a shopping cart through the lot and shoved the woman to the ground, breaking her hip, police said. Jenna Boyd was in the car's passenger seat, police said, and the two fled with three children in the back of the car.

Yourchik testified her mother's hip was broken in three places. Doctors placed a rod, screw and pin in Mary Yourchik's hip to repair the breaks, her daughter said, and she underwent several weeks of physical therapy.

Mary Yourchik was just beginning to walk again with the use of a cane when she had a massive stroke on June 4, Kathy Yourchik testified. Mary Yourchik is now in a nursing home, she said.

At the request of the Boyds' attorneys, Yourchik was not permitted to testify as to whether the broken hip contributed to her mother's stroke because she is not a medical doctor.

Kathy Yourchik testified her mother had gone to the store on the day of the mugging to buy birthday candles for one of her other daughters and chocolate Easter candy for her grandchildren.

Nicole Kitta, address unavailable, testified she had just exited the Wal-Mart when she saw Brittany Boyd and Mary Yourchik struggling over the purse. Kitta testified Brittany Boyd punched Yourchik several times and then kicked her to the ground.

“I heard yelling,” Kitta testified. “I saw the tugging. I heard the lady saying, ‘Don't take my purse.'”

Kitta said she ran to help Yourchik and obtained the car's license plate number before the Boyds drove away.

Katrina Jaquay, an asset-protection manager for Wal-Mart, testified the store's surveillance video shows the Boyds' car circling the parking lot for eight to nine minutes before the attack. The cameras recorded the attack, she testified.

Amnie Lawver, address unavailable, testified he had no knowledge of the purse-snatching when Brittany Boyd called him and asked him to help the sisters use one of Yourchik's credit cards.

He said the sisters picked him up in Brownsville, and they tried to use the card at a nearby Wal-Mart, but the store rejected it. Lawver testified the three intended to sell the items they would have purchased to buy drugs.

“We were all on heroin, and we were all sick,” Lawver testified. “We was just trying to get off sick.”

Brittany Boyd, who is in the county jail in lieu of $50,000 bond, is charged with aggravated assault, robbery, child endangerment, simple assault, theft and criminal conspiracy. Jenna Boyd, who is in jail in lieu of $100,000 bond, is charged with criminal conspiracy, theft, child endangerment and unsworn falsification to authorities.

Liz Zemba is a reporter for TribTotal Media. She can be reached at 412-601-2166 or

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