MINEOLA - A Hempstead woman was sentenced today to 27 months for shoplifting after losing her chance to get a life-saving heart transplant.

Diane McCloud, 48, has end-stage congestive heart failure. In January, she was released from jail, where she was serving a 15-month sentence for shoplifting, to get a heart transplant.

However, prosecutors say while she was out, McCloud failed to comply with the treatment program, started smoking and was caught shoplifting three more times, which resulted in her arrest in August.

McCloud's attorney, Leonard Isaacs, says his client's doctor doesn't think she has much time to live. He says he knows this could be her death sentence.

Although McCloud apologized to the court today for her behavior, the judge refused to reduce her sentence, telling her that a heart condition does not give her a license to steal.

If McCloud is able to complete her sentence, doctors say she could go back on the heart transplant list.