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Derry woman pleads guilty in convenience store robbery

BRENTWOOD — A Derry woman was sentenced to 1 to 3 years in prison on Thursday morning for robbing the East Derry General Store in April, and trying to rob a Subway restaurant in Londonderry two days later.

Rochelle Richards, 23, pleaded guilty on Thursday to three charges as part of a plea agreement with county prosecutors.

Richards told store employees during both incidents, “I have a gun. Give me all your money,” but actually had no weapon, according to prosecutors.

She first hit the East Derry General Store on April 7, and fled with cash from the store after threatening the store worker, according to prosecutors. She then tried to pull a similar heist April 9 at a Subway restaurant in Londonderry, but fled from the eatery.

A worker called 911 reporting to police that the woman fled in a blue Dodge Neon parked near the restaurant. Derry police arrested Richards for the robbery in their town, and eventually she was connected to three other heists, police said.

She was also charged in Hillsborough County for allegedly robbing a D’Angelo sandwich shop on South Willow Street on April 3 and the Candia Road Convenience Store on April 9.

Richards has already spent roughly 157 days in jail, according to Public Defender Joseph Malfitani.

She pleaded guilty to charges of attempted robbery, robbery and possession of a controlled drug (heroin). Richards said at a previous court hearing that she carried out the robberies to feed her drug habit.

Richards was ordered to pay $757 in restitution to the East Derry General Store through the Department of Corrections.

Judge Marguerite Wageling said on Thursday that she found the terms of the plea deal acceptable but warned Richards she had to remain drug free following her release because any violation of her probation or parole could land her back in state prison.

The two Class B felonies are punishable by up to 3 ½ to 7 years in prison.

“That maximum penalty is hanging over your head,” Wageling said. “That’s a huge risk you have.”

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