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Woman says no to plea deal in Fort Edward fire fund-raiser case

2011-06-30T17:00:00Z 2011-06-30T20:18:41Z Woman says no to plea deal in Fort Edward fire fund-raiser caseBy DON LEHMAN--dlehman@poststar.com Glens Falls Post-Star

FORT EDWARD -- The woman accused of stealing $7,300 from a fund raiser for a family that lost six children in a fire last year has rejected a plea deal that would spare her a jail term.

Washington County Judge Kelly McKeighan scheduled pretrial hearings in the case of Robin L. Renaud, formerly of Kingsbury, who has pleaded not guilty to a seven-count indictment. The charges against her include grand larceny, offering a false instrument for filing and intimidating a witness.

Renaud has rejected a deal that would require she plead guilty to a felony, pay restitution at the time of the plea and spend 5 years on probation. Washington County District Attorney Kevin Kortright said the offer was made after discussions with the victims.

"They've rejected the offer," he said.

The charges pertain to a bank account set up to hold money raised during a number of events for the Smith and Cox families after six of their children, ages 1 through 12, died in a June 26 fire at their Burgoyne Avenue, Fort Edward home.

No firm number has been released as to how much money was raised, but Renaud estimated last July the events, which she helped organize, raised $50,000.

About $30,000 of the money went to defray funeral and burial expenses, but the indictment alleges $7,329 was unaccounted for when the bank account was closed and the money left over given to the victims' lawyers.

Michael Martin, lawyer for the families, said family members believe more money was stolen than State Police could prove, but much of it was received in cash that could not be traced.

He said the families want felony convictions and probation and aren't concerned about the money but want to make sure Renaud can't commit the same crime in the future.

"My clients don't care about the money. They want them to be deterred from taking advantage of people who are in their situation again," he said.

Renaud's lawyer, Tucker Stanclift, could not be reached for comment later Thursday.

According to Kortright, the same plea offer has been made to Renaud's co-defendant, Tina Goodell, 41, of Hudson Falls. She has also been charged with grand larceny and offering a false instrument for filing.

Her lawyer, Christian Morris, was in court for a closed-door conference on Thursday. No plea deal has been reached in her case, either.

McKeighan will schedule trial for later this summer, after the July 14 hearings in Renaud's case. The hearing will focus on the admissibility of evidence, including statements Renaud made to State Police.

Copyright 2015 Glens Falls Post-Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(4) Comments

  1. sreed
    Report Abuse
    sreed - July 01, 2011 4:29 pm
    It doesn't pay to help anyone today.These people are money hungry instead of any concern in loosing the children in a fire that could of been prevented in the first place. Have they even thought of their children since they have been gone or is there just dollars signs instead of pupils. I really feel sorry for you people......
    Mrs.Renaud shouldn't have to plea guilty if she is not.Good for you...... Stick to your guns.
  2. Corinth-Res
    Report Abuse
    Corinth-Res - July 01, 2011 8:42 am
    Hahahaha... The family isn't worried about the money... This is what this is all about... Missing money.. SUPPOSEDLY!!! What a joke.. This is all THESE people are worried about.. The missing money.. Otherwise we wouldn't be here today discussing this case.. ALSO if there not worried about the money, why would you want these people to pay restitution???? Theres a knee slapper for you.. The Smith/Cox family had a LARGE amount of money handed to them out of donations because of the loss of there children... I am sorry about this, however when you are trying to BENEFIT from the loss of your children... GIVE ME A BREAK!!! This is just called GREED!!! Plain and simple!!! Maybe they are hurting because there not elgible for there state benefit cards anymore.... This makes me SICK!!!! I hope these 2 women win there case and drag your sorry butts threw the mudd and maybe some cash out of it!!! What a waste of taxpayer dollars!!!
  3. ZENCI2
    Report Abuse
    ZENCI2 - July 01, 2011 7:07 am
    OldGuy said: "Good for her ! If she's innocent, no deals ! I wouldn't care how small the amount of thief claim is --- Make the taxpayers pay through the nose for a trial and try to prove it first. A person's good name is all that matters when it comes to these good/bad Samaritan claims. Otherwise, people will continue to lose faith and hope in the charity of others."

    I completely agree, OldGuy!
  4. OldGuy
    Report Abuse
    OldGuy - June 30, 2011 5:44 pm
    Good for her ! If she's innocent, no deals ! I wouldn't care how small the amount of thief claim is --- Make the taxpayers pay through the nose for a trial and try to prove it first. A person's good name is all that matters when it comes to these good/bad Samaritan claims. Otherwise, people will continue to lose faith and hope in the charity of others.

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