YAKIMA, Wash. — A shoplifting suspect accused of biting a Wal-Mart loss prevention officer was sentenced Monday to more than three years in prison.

Malinda Ann Hurley, 34, of Spokane was sentenced following her guilty plea in Yakima County Superior Court to one count of second-degree theft and two counts of third-degree assault.

The conviction stemmed from an incident at the east Yakima Wal-Mart store Dec. 26.

Prosecutors said loss prevention officers had observed Hurley concealing items in her purse and removing price tags from clothes and attempting to return them for cash.

When a trio of loss prevention officers tried to detain Hurley as she left the store, Hurley bit one of them hard on the right hand, causing them to let her flee to a waiting getaway car.

Store staff were subsequently able to identify the defendant based on an identification card she had used at the return counter.