Woman testifies she helped her ex-boyfriend in Pittsfield armed robbery spree


PITTSFIELD -- A 22-year-old woman took the witness stand against her co-defendant and ex-boyfriend on Tuesday during his Berkshire Superior Court trial and told the jury they committed a string of armed robberies in 2011.

Prosecution witness Laura Methe told the jury details of the eight armed robberies or attempted armed robberies she said she committed with Raheem Garrett from August to November 2011.

Garrett, 28, showed little emotion as Methe told of the pair's alleged crime spree. She said Garrett came up with the idea after the couple was unable to find work. Methe said she initially thought Garrett was joking when he first broached the subject.

She went along with the idea because she was in a relationship with Garrett and "knew he couldn't do it by himself," Methe told the jury.

Methe said her job was to "scope out" the various stores, which included several convenience stores, a Dunkin' Donuts and a Domino's pizzeria. All the businesses, including two that were allegedly robbed twice by the pair, are located in Pittsfield. Methe said she also was the getaway driver.

The couple's spree came to an end the night of Nov. 22, 2011, with their arrests following a high-speed chase from Pittsfield Police that began after the second robbery of Domino's Pizza on Elm Street, according to First Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Paul A. Caccaviello.

On Tuesday, Methe admitted she was hoping to get a plea deal for testifying against Garrett. Like Garrett, she is facing several charges, including multiple counts of armed robbery while masked. Her case remains pending.

"I expect good for being good," she said, but admitted the district attorney's office hadn't promised her anything in return for her testimony.

During cross-examination by Garrett's attorney, Thomas J. Donohue Jr., Methe admitted she had been drinking during many of the alleged heists, but that she "knew exactly what she was doing."

A defense witness, 32-year-old Patrick Leonard, who is serving jail time for burglary, told the jury he overheard Methe and another woman talking while they were all being transported in a Berkshire County Sheriff's Office vehicle. According to Leonard, Methe said that she "wasn't going down" for the robberies "she didn't commit" and "would do what she had to do" to avoid jail.

The trial, which began Monday, is expected to go to the jury today.

Garrett remains in jail on $25,000 cash or bond.

Methe is currently under house arrest and is required to wear a GPS-monitoring device on her ankle.

To reach Andrew Amelinckx:
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On Twitter: @BETheAmelinckx


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