Laura Briggs of Holyoke placed on probation after pleading guilty to charges of larceny and misleading police officers
NORTHAMPTON — A Holyoke woman connected to the February robbery of a Northampton bank submitted Thursday to facts sufficient for a guilty finding to charges of larceny and lying to police.
Laura G. Briggs, 31, admitted to three counts of larceny over $250 and one count of misleading police before Judge Mary-Lou Rup.
Prosecutors recommended a plea deal resulting in two years’ probation. Briggs’ attorney, James P. Clark Jr. of Springfield, asked that her case be continued without a finding for one year.
After hearing from both sides, Hampshire Superior Court Judge Mary-Lou Rup struck a compromise, continuing her case without a finding for three years, ordering Briggs to appear for a review in six months, and added several conditions of probation.
A continuance without a finding means that if the defendant remains out of further trouble and abides by all release conditions, the charges will be dropped at the end of the allotted time.
Briggs could have received up to 10 years in state prison for the misleading police charge, and up to five years each for the larceny charges.
Briggs admitted that she mislead police when she gave conflicting accounts of how much knowledge she had about the robbery of the Florence Savings Bank branch on King Street and how much aid she gave to her then-boyfriend, Thadius D. Romanowski, who allegedly committed that crime.
When Romanowski became a suspect, the home he shared with Briggs was searched and evidence connected to the robbery was discovered along with two laptop computers, credit cards and electronics. Those items had been reported stolen from a Smith College library in a separate incident in late January,
Charges of being an accessory after the fact and 11 counts of larceny of a credit card against Briggs were dropped.
Clark told Rup that since her arrest she had taken steps to sober up and turn her life around.
“I did a lot of really stupid things,” Briggs said in court, fighting back tears. “I want to move forward with my life. This is the right way for me to do it.”
Briggs must also avoid drugs and alcohol and submit to random screenings, attend substance abuse counseling and treatment, if deemed appropriate, continue psychiatric counseling, have no contact with Romanowski, and take all prescribed medications as ordered.