Participant in 2016 Amherst home invasion gets probation

  • Gavel and scales Creatas

Staff Writer
Published: 7/22/2019 8:04:31 PM

NORTHAMPTON — A Sunderland woman was sentenced Monday to three years probation for her role in a 2016 Amherst home invasion.

Brittany Buckowski, 27, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit home invasion, conspiracy to commit armed and masked robbery, breaking and entering in the nighttime with the intent to commit larceny, larceny under $250, accessory after the fact and interfering with a police officer in violation of the common law.

Hampshire Superior Court Judge Richard Carey found Buckowski guilty on the charges of larceny under $250 and interfering with a police officer, while the other charges were continued without a finding for three years. All the criminal cases connected with the home invasion have now been resolved.

The crime occurred in the early morning hours of Oct. 30, 2016. Prosecutors say alleged mastermind Patrick Bemben led a team of four other people in a robbery of an Amherst home after Bemben had had a falling out with one of the home’s residents, Jandall Boom, who was seriously injured in the attack.

Buckowski and John Joseph Niemiec III served as getaway drivers in the home invasion enterprise, according to prosecutors. First Assistant District Attorney Steven Gagne said Buckowski helped one of the defendants, Stephanos Georgiadis, escape.

Niemiec was sentenced to probation earlier this year, as was Georgiadis. Bemben was sentenced three to four years in state prison last year.

Gagne requested that Buckowski be convicted of the six charges and receive three years probation, while Buckowski’s attorney, Nikolas Andreopoulos, requested that his client be convicted on only the two misdemeanor charges, and have the four felony charges continued without a finding for three years.

Andreopoulos noted that his client was addicted to heroin at the time of her participation in the crime.

“She was at her weakest point in life,” he said.

He also said that she had complied perfectly with her pre-trial probation, and that a guilty finding on the felony charges would harm her for the rest of her life.

In the end, Carey agreed with the defense’s recommendation, noting Buckowski’s lack of a criminal record. However, he noted the presence of weapons in the invasion, and that its outcome could have gone differently.

“It could have been much, much worse,” said Carey.

Bera Dunau can be reached at bdunau@gazettenet.com.


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