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Hartford woman facing criminal charges reaches plea agreement

It is not every day that our readers learn of a robbery-gone-wrong due to trying to use handcuffs ill suited for the task. Though she was a conspirator in the planning of a 2008 holdup at an Ellington jewelry store, a 31-year-old Hartford woman has avoided jail for the criminal charges against her after a Connecticut court gave her a suspended sentence. The suspended sentence came after the woman, who cooperated with police, entered a plea to the conspiracy under the Alford doctrine. This legal procedure allows an accused person to concede there is sufficient evidence for a conviction to be obtained without actually acknowledging guilt for the criminal charges.

The incident occurred in 2008 in Ellington at the Diamond and Gold Exchange. Three men robbed the store, taking jewelry and accessories valued at around $700. The robbers attempted to handcuff the customers in the store, but failed. It turns out that the handcuffs the robbers used were purchased at an adult entertainment store and were designed to be wrapped in fuzzy sleeves.

After opting for duct tape, the robbers fled, leaving behind the fuzzy covers for the handcuffs. The woman who entered the plea purchased the handcuffs, and she was linked to one of the robbers because they were purportedly dating. During her cooperation with police, she said that she purchased the handcuffs for a friend of her boyfriend, believing that they were to be used for other purposes.

Each of the men involved in the robbery faced robbery and accessory criminal charges and were sentenced to prison terms of three, 18, and 50 years. Police indicated that the woman who purchased the handcuffs assisted in "putting away" two criminals. Stories like this one demonstrate that, even when charges are filed, working with police and having the right support can sometimes lead to a more end more favorable conclusion than other alternatives. When anyone in Connecticut is accused of a crime, they are presumed innocent unless and until proven otherwise. Their right to mount a meaningful defense against the allegations, when utilized in the correct manner, can lay the groundwork for achieving the best possible result.

Source: Courant.com, "Hartford Woman Avoids Jail For Role In Ellington Heist" Christine Dempsey, Oct. 25, 2012

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