Wednesday January 16, 2013

BRATTLEBORO -- A man who had been suspected in a string of Canal Street robberies will serve at least 18 months in jail after pleading guilty to two felony charges.

John C. Carrington, 32, pleaded to two counts of larceny from a person in connection with two robberies early last year at the Neighbors gas station and convenience store, 469 Canal St.

He was sentenced to serve 18 months to 10 years in prison by Judge David Suntag in Windham Superior Court Criminal Division.

In a note accompanying Carrington’s sentence, Suntag asked the state Department of Corrections to consider "furloughing him to a program outside of the jail as soon as he meets his minimum" sentence.

Carrington’s defense attorney, Chris Montgomery, said that arrangement will benefit his client.

"I’m very glad the matter was able to be resolved in a way that will allow Mr. Carrington to get out and into the counseling and treatment that would very much help him," Montgomery said. "I wish him well."

In addition to the two robberies involved in his guilty plea, Carrington initially had been charged with another robbery at Neighbors in March.

Also, he had been accused of a March 17 robbery at the Circle K gas station on Canal Street and an attempted heist March 22 at the nearby Price Chopper grocery store.

Charges from those additional incidents were dismissed, court papers show.


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Windham County State’s Attorney Tracy Shriver said charges relating to the March Neighbors robbery were dropped as part of the plea agreement with Carrington.

"The state dismissed the charges regarding Circle K since there was insufficient evidence to prove the defendant was responsible," Shriver said.

She added that prosecutors initially intended for Carrington to also plead guilty to the Price Chopper incident.

"But after hearing from the defendant in court at the change of plea, (the state) agreed to allow him to plead to only the Neighbors incidents," Shriver said.

Both Neighbors robberies happened in January 2012.

In the first incident, Brattleboro police said they were summoned to the gas station at 8:46 p.m. Jan. 14 to investigate a robbery by a man wearing a head band around his nose and mouth.

The suspect reportedly had a tattoo on the right side of his face consisting of "a cluster of possibly green stars next to his eye," police wrote in an affidavit.

Two weeks later, police received a report of another robbery at the same store. This time, the robber wore a ski mask but nonetheless was described by a clerk as having a tattoo on his face.

In both incidents, the suspect handed the clerks a note demanding money, police said.

Carrington was arrested in late March after the alleged attempted robbery at Price Chopper. At the time, police said he confessed to several gas-station robberies and also admitted that the face tattoo described in the Neighbors heists was fake.

Mike Faher can be reached at mfaher@reformer.com or 802-254-2311, ext. 275.