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story.lead_photo.caption Philadelphia Shields - Photo by Pulaski County sheriff's office

A 27-year-old Little Rock woman arrested half-naked in the Hillcrest Kroger supermarket has accepted a five-year prison sentence for that arrest and other crimes, most of them drug-related.

Philadelphia Katherine "Katy" Shields pleaded guilty Tuesday in Pulaski County Circuit Court to the last two charges against her: possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia, counts stemming from her final arrest on Sept. 2. She's been behind bars since, absent a couple of months she spent in a drug-rehabilitation program.

Shields had been a fugitive for about seven months before sheriff's deputies found her in a white Ford van in the parking lot of the Centre at Ten shopping center at 12911 Cantrell Road. Shields had methamphetamine and smoking pipes in her purse while the van driver, 59-year-old parolee Steven John Voegele, was arrested after investigators found meth and heroin next to him in the vehicle, according to a September arrest report.

Voegele, of Little Rock, is scheduled to stand trial in May.

Shields drew public attention in October 2017 with her arrest at the Kroger on Beechwood Street at Kavanaugh Boulevard. Police already were in the area investigating a burglary alarm sounding from a broken window at Ciao Baci restaurant across the street from the grocery about 6 a.m.

A store employee told the officers that a half-naked woman was inside the grocery to steal merchandise.

Inside, officers found Shields with a bandage on one of her hands and black potting soil on her right cheek and left foot. She was carrying a flashlight, wearing a pair of blue men's underwear, a single flip-flop and a long gray sweater opened and exposing her chest.

Shields told officers that she was waiting for a friend who would pick her up and pay for the bandage. She appeared to be on drugs, police noted, describing her as "sleepy" and her speech slurred.

Questioned about the dirt on her face, Shields said it was a fetish she shared with her boyfriend and that they "throw dirt on each other and film it," according to an arrest report.

Another Kroger worker told police that Shields had suddenly popped up from behind a Dumpster at the back of the store, where she startled workers who were unloading a truck. She then went inside, grabbed receipts from the front of the store and put them to her chest. When employees told her to stop, she went to the first-aid aisle and took a bandage, which she tried to put on her left foot, which was swollen.

Police said surveillance footage from Ciao Baci showed Shields shining a flashlight inside the back window, then grabbing a flower pot from behind the business and using it to break the glass.

At the time of her arrest, Shields had been on probation for almost five months for a pair of arrests the previous year, one in July 2016 for theft by receiving and possession of drug paraphernalia involving a woman's stolen wallet and another about a month later when Little Rock police had arrested her with meth while investigating a car crash she'd been in at Kanis and Roberts roads.

She had other felony charges pending at the time for stealing credit cards during a car break-in on Cedar Street in Little Rock in August 2017 and being caught with heroin in April 2017 while working at a bar at 2221 W. Main St. in Jacksonville.

Released on her own recognizance after the Kroger arrest, Shields was ticketed about a week later in November 2017 for trespassing at a Little Rock home at 205 Barton Road. She didn't encounter police again until her meth arrest in September.

She had been declared a fugitive in February 2018 after failing to show up to court.

Felony charges related to her skipped court dates were dropped as part of her plea agreement this week.

She also pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft and vandalism charges for the stolen Kroger bandages and breaking Ciao Baci's window.

Her arrests have left her with 13 felony convictions, four for drug possession, four for drug paraphernalia possession, three for theft and two for breaking or entering. She can qualify for parole in November.

Metro on 03/15/2019

Print Headline: Woman arrested half-naked at Little Rock grocery store sentenced to 5 years

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