Easthampton woman sentenced for lying to police during Joanne Ringer investigation

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An Easthampton woman pleaded guilty Friday to lying to police during a criminal investigation into the suspected killing of Joanne Ringer. 

The Berkshire County District Attorney said 44-year-old Laura Reilly was sentenced to two to four years in state prison. 

Reilly pleaded guilty in Berkshire Superior Court to two counts of misleading a police officer with the intent to impede, obstruct, delay, harm, or interfere with a criminal investigation. 

Police located Ringer’s abandoned vehicle in Easthampton days after Charles Reidy, Ringer’s husband and the sole suspect in her killing, reported her missing on March 2, 2017. 

Reilly admitted that she repeatedly lied to police about the level of contact she had with Reidy on March 2 and 3, 2017.

The District Attorney said Reilly’s misleading statements wasted important time in the state police investigation and significantly obstructed the detective’s effort to find Ringer’s killer. 

Reidy killed himself on April 7, 2017, and Ringer’s remains were not found until February 27, 2018 in Hatfield. The office of the Chief Medical Examiner could not determine a definitive cause of death due to the time that had elapsed. 

District Attorney Andrea Harrington said, “The nearly one-year search and lack of closure in the case deeply affected Joanne Ringer’s family and friends. If Laura Reilly told the truth about driving Reidy home on the day he reported Ringer missing and spending time with him the day after, police could have questioned Reidy about the killing prior to him committing suicide. I offer my condolences to Ms. Ringer’s loved ones, and we hope that this plea and sentence gives them some measure of comfort.”

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