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February 21, 2013

Grandmother's money taken

MALONE — A Hogansburg woman cried and apologized to her family “for the trouble I caused” when she stole and cashed about $3,000 worth of checks from her grandmother.

Brettani Heroy, 20, pleaded guilty this week to fourth-degree grand larceny and was sentenced to five years probation and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine by Franklin County Court Judge Robert G. Main Jr.

She was indicted by a grand jury for grand larceny and four counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, stemming from an incident Nov. 14, 2012.

“I’m sorry for what I’ve done,” she said, her voice cracking as she began to sob.

“I’m sorry for the trouble I caused my grandmother and my family because of my addiction.”

TURNED LIFE AROUND

Public Defender Thomas Soucia said his client has turned her life around since her arrest, has been clean for more than a year and made amends to her grandmother.

He said Heroy hasn’t had an easy life, but she is successful in treatment.

The judge noted Heroy is doing well while surrounded by supportive staff and programs, “but the time will come, not right away, when that support system is gradually taken away from you. That is when the real test of your commitment to sobriety will begin.”

Main said that if she were to backslide and get into trouble again, she would be considered a second-felony offender and have to go to state prison.

“You chose to take advantage of a loved one who was frail with age, suffering from many issues,” he said, adding that it is up to her to try to mend the relationship with her grandmother.

COURAGEOUS

Main said that Heroy told the Probation Department staff, for their pre-sentence report, that she blames herself for saying something to them that ultimately got her mother into trouble.

But he told the young woman that what she did was courageous even though it was difficult and painful.

In addition to the probation sentence, Heroy was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine, a $300 felony surcharge and a $25 crime-victim fee, submit a sample of DNA and pay the $50 filing fee.

She is to return to court on Aug. 26 for a compliance conference.

Email Denise A. Raymo: draymo@pressrepublican.com

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