EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

September 6, 2013

Derry woman sentenced in robbery case

By Doug Ireland

---- — BRENTWOOD — A Derry woman was sentenced to one to three years in prison yesterday for robbing an East Derry store and attempting to hold up a Londonderry sandwich shop.

Rochelle Richards, 23, pleaded guilty to robbery, attempted robbery and heroin possession charges in Rockingham Superior Court as part of an agreement with prosecutors, according to County Attorney James Reams.

Richards, who has admitted she is a heroin addict, confessed to police this spring after also robbing a convenience store and sandwich shop in Manchester in April. The four incidents occurred within a week.

Two weeks ago, Richards was sentenced to serve 18 months to four years in prison for the two robberies in Manchester, Reams said. She has been incarcerated at the state prison for women in Goffstown and ordered to receive treatment for her addiction.

She pleaded guilty to robbing D’Angelo’s on South Willow Street on April 3 and Candia Road Convenience off Interstate 93 on April 9, only 30 minutes after the attempted holdup in Londonderry.

That sentence, handed down Aug. 21 in Hillsborough County Superior Court, will be served concurrently with the second sentence, Reams said. Richards also received a three- to six-year suspended sentence and five years of probation, Reams said.

Richards walked into East Derry General Store about 6:30 p.m. on April 7 and demanded money from a store employee, saying she had a gun.

Richards didn’t show a gun, but kept her hand in her pocket and told the clerk she would shoot if the employee didn’t comply, according to police. She then fled in a blue Dodge Neon, which was photographed by a store surveillance camera.

In the Londonderry incident, Richards entered Subway on Perkins Road and told an employee, “I have a gun, give me all your money,” according to an indictment.

The employee laughed at Richards and asked to see the gun, prompting Richard to flee. Police stopped her car a short time later on Route 28 in Derry.

Richards was initially held on $50,000 cash bail, but that was amended to personal recognizance on the condition she receive drug treatment.

Richards’ attorney, public defender Joseph Malfitani, could not be reached yesterday for comment.