Trial of Laura Reilly, accused of lying to police in Joanne Ringer probe, delayed again

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PITTSFIELD — It will now be at least March until Laura Reilly goes to trial on charges she lied to police investigating the homicide of Joanne "Jo" Ringer, more than two years since her March 2017 disappearance.

Newly appointed First Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Karen Bell was recently assigned the case, and told Judge John Agostini on Monday that she will need additional time to get up to speed on the case.

Reilly, 44, of Easthampton, had been scheduled to begin her trial Tuesday in Berkshire Superior Court before Agostini. Bell and Reilly's attorney, Jesse Adams, appeared in court Monday to address the request to have the trial date rescheduled.

Coincidentally, Tuesday would have been Ringer's 41st birthday.

Reilly faces three counts of lying to police in the investigation. She is not accused of harming Ringer.

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Adams said Monday that Reilly intends to plead guilty to one of the three counts and take the remaining two counts to trial before a judge only. The trial is expected to last less than a day.

Reilly is accused of lying to police about specific aspects of her recollection and whereabouts in the days after Ringer's disappearance March 2, 2017. Ringer's remains were found in Hatfield in late February.

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Ringer's husband, Charles "Chad" Reidy, remains the state's lone suspect in her death. Reidy killed himself more than a month after reporting his wife missing March 4, 2017.

Reilly came to investigators' attention when they learned that she had a previous, and apparently ongoing, relationship with Reidy.

She intends to admit to giving misleading answers to authorities during four police interviews from March 2017 to April 2017 regarding her and Reidy's whereabouts March 2, the day Ringer failed to show for her first shift driving a cab in Easthampton.

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But she disputes prosecution claims that she misled police about the specific cellphone Reidy used to contact her March 2, and that she gave false information about whether she was with Reidy on March 3.

Adams filed a motion to dismiss Reilly's charges, arguing that whatever information his client gave to police did not alter their investigation or send it in a different direction than it otherwise would have gone. That motion was denied in July.

A conviction of misleading a police officer carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

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


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