Bail granted for pair accused in Pittsfield armed home invasion

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PITTSFIELD — Suspects accused in an alleged armed home invasion were granted bail on Friday after defense attorneys cast doubt on the official account of the incident.

Joshua Lofink, 31, of Hinsdale, and Sara Ladouceur, 32, of Pittsfield, are accused of participating in the robbery of a city man in his home early July 2.

At a dangerousness hearing on Friday, Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Jeffrey Clarke argued to keep the pair held without the right to bail.

He cited Lofink's prior criminal history, including a "larceny crime spree," during late 2012 and early 2013 including a jewelry store burglary and thefts of checks and a motor vehicle from his father.

In Ladouceur's case, Clarke said the state was concerned that she allegedly engaged in a scheme to "set up" the victim and had failed to turn herself in to police and remained at large for several days until she was arrested on a warrant.

The alleged victim in the case told police that Ladouceur, who is an acquaintance of his, was in his apartment about 6:30 a.m. last Saturday.

The victim said she must have unlocked the back door to his apartment to allow Lofink to come in and he put a gun to his head and demand money.

He said the pair got away with about $700 and his cell phone.

The handgun allegedly used in the robbery had not been recovered by Friday afternoon.

A potential third suspect may be involved, but the alleged victim could not provide police with any identification.

Attorney Jessica Byrne, representing Lofink, told Judge William Rota that there had been no independent identification of her client as the perpetrator, apart from the alleged victim.

A witness in the Tyler Street area about the time of the incident saw a man and woman running in the area, but could only identify Ladouceur from a photo array.

Byrne said the alleged victim knew Ladouceur and Lofink were a couple and suggested he may have had his own motivations for identifying Lofink as his attacker.

Attorney Marc Vincelette, representing Ladouceur, said his client was in an abusive relationship with Lofink.

He said she was in the victim's apartment and heard a knock at the back door, opened it, and found Lofink there before fleeing out of fear of him.

Vincelette said Ladouceur didn't know Lofink may have been armed and didn't know he intended to rob the alleged victim.

And he said his client has a minimal criminal background and would be willing to submit to GPS monitoring and would live under her mother's supervision, if released.

Byrne said Lofink denied both the charges against him and the characterization of his relationship with Ladouceur.

Rota said he wasn't prepared to detain the pair and asked Clarke what amount of bail he'd suggest in the alternative.

Clarke recommended a bail of $50,000 for Lofink, which Byrne said would effectively be holding her client without any bail at all, noting he and his family are of modest financial means and suggested a bail of no more than $1,000.

Clarke also recommended a $25,000 bail for Ladouceur.

Rota set Lofink's bail at $25,000 and Ladouceur's at $5,000 with the conditions they stay away from and have no contact with the alleged victim and each other, not possess firearms and stay drug and alcohol-free.

They have the right to appeal their respective bail to Berkshire Superior Court.

The pair have both pleaded not guilty to charges of armed home invasion and larceny over $250 from a person over 60 or disabled.

They are due back in court on July 29 for pretrial hearings.

Contact Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249.


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