EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

April 12, 2013

Robbery suspect pleads for lower bail

Woman blames crime spree on drug addiction

DERRY — A single mother addicted to heroin begged a judge to let her get help rather than stay in jail on robbery charges.

“Please lower my bail,” Rochelle Richards, 23, of Derry, pleaded with 10th Circuit Court Judge John Coughlin during her arraignment yesterday. “I have a drug problem.”

But Coughlin approved the $50,000 cash bail requested by the prosecution.

Richards is charged with robbery for a holdup Sunday at the East Derry General Store and attempted robbery at the Subway on Perkins Road in Londonderry on Tuesday.

There’s more to come.

Manchester police have issued warrants for her arrest in connection with two store robberies there, Lt. Maureen Tessier said.

Her parents, Michael and Nina, were in the courtroom.

Richards repeatedly sobbed during the video arraignment yesterday. She is being held in the county jail.

“I just want to get out, please,” Richards begged the judge.

Her father, too, asked Coughlin to allow his daughter to get help.

“What my daughter said is true,” Michael Richards told the judge. “She has a drug addiction problem.”

Richards told police she is addicted to heroin and has used it every day, according to court documents.

She told them she has been an addict since October. She is a single mother of a son she fears the state will take from her.

During the arraignment, Richards told the judge she had been going to Hampstead Hospital for treatment. Her father asked the judge to let her continue treatment there or through some other program.

“She’s not a bad person,” he said. “She is a drug addict.”

Her father said after the hearing they had no idea her addiction was so bad.

Coughlin scheduled a probable cause hearing for Wednesday and agreed to appoint an attorney to represent Richards. He ordered her to refrain from using drugs, alcohol or possessing weapons.

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