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.