Witnesses said a woman who took a gun into a Chattanooga bank and then afterward began disrobing while walking down Broad Street had no bullets in the gun she was toting.
A firearms expert testifying for Zova Zakwan at her federal sentencing hearing Monday said she had 22 caliber bullets with her that would not have worked in the 25 caliber handgun she had at the CapitalMark Bank on Aug. 2, 2011.
Ms. Zakwan, 44, earlier pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a handgun.
Judge Sandy Mattice, at a lengthy hearing, ruled that she would be sentenced based on guidelines for aggravated assault rather than attempted first-degree murder. The guideline sentence for aggravated assault is 24-30 months. For attempted first-degree murder, it would have been 63-78 months.
However, the judge recessed the hearing to allow prosecutor Chris Poole time to decide if he wants to ask for a higher sentence than the guideline. She could get up to 10 years.
Her attorney, John Nicoll of Manchester, said Ms. Zakwan has already been in jail 16 and a half months. However, he was told that she will get no jail credit on that time toward a state or federal sentence. She was taken into custody on a probation violation out of state court in Manchester.
Ms. Zakwan is still facing charges in Hamilton County Criminal Court on the bizarre bank incident.
Deborah Moyers said she was at the bank that day when Ms. Zakwan came in dressed oddly, including wearing oversized pants, sunglasses and a hat. She said she asked to see Molly Haynes. Ms. Moyers found out later that Ms. Haynes is the ex-wife of the man Ms. Zakwan was married to at the time.
Ms. Moyers said she went back to the mortgage department to see if Ms. Haynes was in. She said she was unaware that Ms. Zakwan was following her until she turned and saw her at the door with a handgun pointed at her head. She said she was able to get the door shut and lock it after she was tossed some keys. She said she heard three clicks as if Ms. Zakwan was pulling the trigger.
Another bank employee, Kenissa Payne, said she witnessed the incident and also heard three clicks.
Two unspent 22 caliber bullets were found by the door to the mortgage department. The handgun was found on Broad Street along with some of Ms. Zakwan's attire. The firearms expert said he believed the bullets had fallen out of Ms. Zakwan's pocket at the time she had struggled to get the gun out.
Ms. Zakwan was arrested by a bike patrol officer.
Ms. Haynes testified that she was walking back to the bank from lunch at the time of the incident.
She said she had had no prior feud with Ms. Zakwan and had only seen her on a few occasions. She said the incident came a few days after her children had spent a week in Manchester with their father and Ms. Zakwan.
Ms. Haynes started to tell about a call she had received from Ms. Zakwan's daughter. However, attorney Nicoll objected. At that time, Judge Mattice adjourned the hearing.
In November 2006, Ms. Zakwan, while working as the bookkeeper for the First Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Murfreesboro, was charged with embezzling over $60,000. Authorities said she used church credit cards to make personal purchases.
She later pleaded guilty to theft over $1,000 and received two years probation. She was ordered to pay $73,256 in restitution.