After plea change, Reilly to face trial for charges of misleading police in Joanne Ringer investigation

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PITTSFIELD — The woman accused of lying to police about Joanne "Jo" Ringer's disappearance last year is set to go on trial in November after a judge denied her request for a modified plea agreement that would have split up her charges.

During a change of plea hearing Thursday, an attorney filed a motion to allow Laura Reilly to plead guilty to one of the three counts against her and schedule a bench trial on the remaining counts.

"After much thought, [Reilly] has determined she cannot plead guilty to counts one and three, because she did not intend to mislead the police in those two instances," attorney Jesse Adams said in an affidavit supporting the motion.

Berkshire Superior Court Judge John Agostini denied the motion and a final pretrial conference in the case has now been set for Oct. 22.

Reilly, 43, of Easthampton is accused of lying to police about particular pieces of information in their investigation into Ringer's demise.

She is not charged with causing Ringer any harm nor lying about anything directly related to her disappearance and murder. She is, however, accused of deliberately lying in order to impede that investigation. Adams has maintained his client has nothing to do with Ringer's disappearance.

Reilly became embroiled in the investigation into Ringer's disappearance soon after the 39-year-old Clarksburg woman failed to report for her first shift as a taxi driver in Easthampton on March 2. Police learned Reilly had a romantic relationship with Ringer's husband, Charles "Chad" Reidy, which apparently continued while Ringer and Reidy were married.

Reidy remains the sole suspect in Ringer's death. He took his own life a little over one month after he first reported his wife missing.

Ringer's remains were discovered in Hatfield on Feb. 27.

The charges against Reilly represent alleged falsehoods about specific facets of the investigation: the fact Reidy used a cellphone belonging to someone else when he contacted Reilly on March 2, 2017; her whereabouts with Reidy that day; whether she drove him back to Clarksburg or they took two vehicles; and that she allegedly lied when she told police she was not with Reidy on March 3.

Bob Dunn can be reached at bdunn@berkshireeagle.com, at @BobDunn413 on Twitter and 413-496-6249.


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