Alan Richards

ITHACA, N.Y. – A man pleaded guilty to robbing a 74-year-old woman at an Ithaca smoke shop in March as part of a plea deal that could keep him out of prison.

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Alan Richards pleaded guilty to third-degree robbery Wednesday morning at the Tompkins County courthouse.

Judge Joseph Cassidy said he will not send Richards to jail if he continues making progress at the Cayuga Addiction Recovery Services residence in Trumansburg.

Alan Richards

Tompkins County Assistant District Attorney Diane Lama said if Richards does not complete the treatment he could be sentenced to jail for 1 to 3 years.

He’s also required by the deal to to pay $150 in restitution and comply with an order of protection that prohibits him from being near the woman he robbed.

In court, Richards confessed to walking into a West State Street smoke shop at 3:48 p.m. on March 4 and robbing the 74-year-old clerk. A weapon was not used in the attack.

“I was pretty nervous,” he said. “I felt bad.”

He said he pushed the clerk’s hand away from the register and stole money and merchandise from the store.

Ithaca police said March 5 that Richards was apprehended and held in jail on $5,000 cash and $10,000 bond. He served 60 days in jail.

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Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at jalmendarez@ithacavoice.com; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.