For Immediate Release
Contact: Tim Connolly 508-368-7236
WORCESTER – A Superior Court jury today found a former Worcester woman guilty of robbing a disabled woman of her lottery winnings, according to Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.
Wendy J. LaPorte, 41, was found guilty of unarmed robbery and assault and battery on an elderly or disabled person.
LaPorte and a co-defendant, Sayed D. McKenzie, 29, were charged in the Feb. 26, 2014 robbery. They followed a 48-year-old woman with cerebral palsy and her mother from a Shell gasoline station on Lincoln Street after they saw the younger woman cash a scratch ticket for $400. The assault and robbery occurred in the parking lot of a nearby apartment complex.
McKenzie pleaded guilty to armed robbery while masked and assault and battery on an elderly or disabled person in March and was sentenced 10 to 12 years in state prison.
Assistant Attorney General Terrence M. Reidy, a former assistant district attorney, prosecuted both cases. Reidy recommended that LaPorte be sentenced to 15 to 20 years for the unarmed robbery and 2 to 3 years on the assault and battery. Defense attorney Sarah Hamilton recommended her client be sentenced to probation.
Judge Richard Tucker sentenced LaPorte to 2 ½ to 5 years on the robbery conviction and 2 to 3 years on the assault and battery conviction. The sentences are to be served concurrently.
“This was a great team effort,” Mr. Early said. “I applaud the jury for their verdict. Our victim showed tremendous strength and courage. We are glad to give her closure. I am very proud of our prosecution team including the Worcester Police Department, prosecutor Terry Reidy, and our supervisor of victim-witness advocates Margaret Rwaramba.”