Reilly to admit lying to police in Joanne Ringer homicide investigation

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PITTSFIELD — Barring a change in schedule, Laura Reilly is expected to plead guilty on Sept. 20 to misleading police investigating the disappearance and homicide of Joanne "Jo" Ringer last year.

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.

The charges against Reilly represent alleged falsehoods about specific facets of the investigation: the fact Charles "Chad" 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.

Reilly became embroiled in the investigation into the disappearance of 39-year-old Ringer soon after she 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, Reidy, which apparently continued while Ringer and Reidy were married.

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

Human remains were discovered in Hatfield on Feb. 27. They were identified as Ringer's two days later, almost one year to the day after she went missing.

Reilly's attorney, Jesse Adams has maintained his client has nothing to do with Ringer's disappearance.

Adams had filed motions to suppress evidence and dismiss his client's charges, arguing that police already had their prime suspect, knew much of the information about which they were asking Reilly, and therefore didn't alter the course of their investigation.

The motion to dismiss was denied, but part of the motion to suppress was allowed, limiting the scope of how prosecutors could use some of Reilly's statements made during interviews with police in April 2017.

The case had tentatively been scheduled to go to trial in September, but a final pretrial conference, set for Aug. 14, was scrapped in favor of the change of plea hearing.

According to court records, there is not an agreed sentencing recommendation between the parties, and it's not yet known what penalty either side plans on recommending to the court..

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


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