BANGOR - In a sudden turn of events, the trial of Rosemary Peterson ended Monday -- with jurors never getting to decide her fate. That's because over the weekend, Peterson, in speaking with her attorney, decided to plead no contest.
"I think the defense realized they didn't have a good case, and the best thing to do was to plead guilty," says, District Attorney Christopher Almy.
It all started in June of 2012, when three men robbed an AE Robinson convenience store in East Corinth. By her own admission, 26 year old Rosemary Peterson drove the getaway van.
"My client kind of got sucked into this after the fact as a pick up person," says Larry Willey, Peterson's attorney. That's because Peterson was romantically involved with Clifford Sprague, one of the trio.
Willey says, "It's very, very important for people to realize that when they're in a tough situation, get away from it." The prosecution adds, "She may have been hanging around with a career criminal, prolific thief, but she made her own choices."
Jurors heard opening statements last week, and days worth of witness testimony. However, with Monday's plea, they went home, without rendering a verdict, "Without getting into client confidences, this is something we have been talking about for a very long time," says Willey.
Peterson will serve 9 months in prison and 2 years probation. She is expected to turn herself in on the 21st of October.
"She's got to obtain her GED, do alcohol counseling, refrain from using drugs and alcohol, and she's got to stay away from the AE Robinson stores in the local area," says Almy.
Wiping away tears, Peterson spoke to the judge about a troubled childhood. Before entering judgement against Peterson, Justice William Anderson said he could have imposed a longer sentence but says, "I don't see any sense in penalizing you more."
Andrew joined the WVII ABC 7 and WFVX FOX 22 News team in June of 2012. Since a young child he always wanted to pursue a career in Broadcast Journalism, and is honored to start his journey in Eastern Maine. He enjoys nothing more than meeting the members of the community and sharing their stories with our viewers.
Raised in Houston, Texas, Andrew graduated from Suffolk University located in Boston, Massachusetts where he majored in Communications. Before moving up to the Pine Tree State, Andrew was a student reporter for The Morning Show on New England Cable News (NECN).
When not in the newsroom, Andrew enjoys volunteering at the Bangor Humane Society. You can see him there at least once a week interacting with many of the dogs. He also enjoys cooking, reading, watching his favorite movies, and going to the gym.
Make sure to say hi when you see him on the streets, and mention Finding Nemo (his favorite movie) if you want some brownie points!