Reilly to Plead Guilty to One Count, Face Trial On Two Counts
The Berkshire Eagle reports that the woman accused of lying to police investigating the disappearance and homicide of a Clarksburg woman last year is expected to plead guilty to one count next month — and go on trial on the other two counts.
Laura Reilly, 43, of Easthampton, has been indicted on three counts of misleading police in the disappearance of Joanne "Jo" Ringer in early March 2017.
Ringer's body was found in Hatfield nearly a year later.
At a final pretrial conference in Berkshire Superior Court on Monday, attorney Jesse Adams said Reilly will plead guilty to count two of the indictment and will take the remaining two counts to a jury-waived trial, before a judge only.
Judge John Agostini had rejected such a scenario during a hearing this month, but Monday, he agreed to split up the charges.
That trial and plea hearing are tentatively set for the second or third week in November; the precise date will be determined in the near future. The trial is expected to take less than one day.
Reilly is accused of lying to police about specific aspects of her recollection and whereabouts in the days after Ringer's disappearance March 2.
Ringer's husband, Charles "Chad" Reidy, remains the state's lone suspect in her death. Reidy took his life a little more than a month after reporting his wife missing March 4.
In the other counts, she is accused of misleading police about the specific cell phone Reidy used to contact Reilly on March 2, and allegedly giving false information about whether she was with Reidy on March 3.
Reilly has not been charged with causing Ringer any harm, and Adams has stated that his client has nothing to do with Ringer's disappearance.
A conviction of misleading a police officer carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.