SCHENECTADY — A woman accused of assisting in the December attack and robbery of a nine-months-pregnant woman pleaded guilty to the crime this week, attorneys said.
The defendant, in custody since her December arrest, is about to give birth herself, her attorney said. She is due next month.
Janelle J. Moore, 18, of State Street, pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree robbery. The plea came just before her trial was expected to begin.
She admitted to her role in the attack on the pregnant Shania Lynds in Lynds' Broadway apartment on Dec. 8.
Moore and co-defendant Niquasia Huntley, 20, sought $500 in rent money they believed Lynds possessed, prosecutors said. The two used a ruse to get into Lynds' apartment and then threatened her with knives, tied her up and sprayed her with cleaning chemicals.
Lynds waited until her attackers left, freed herself and summoned police. She suffered minor injuries, and her pregnancy was unaffected. She gave birth weeks later to a healthy baby girl.
Moore is to receive between five and eight years in prison at her August sentencing. Judge Matthew Sypniewski will decide the final number then.
Huntley is to receive nine years next month for her role in the attack.
Relatives of Lynds have said Huntley knew Lynds through a former roommate. The incident began as Huntley called Lynds with an offer of baby clothes, prosecutors said.
Huntley arrived with Moore and they soon ordered Lynds to the floor, punched her and dragged her to another room, prosecutors said.
Huntley eventually found Lynds' wallet, declared it empty and continued to demand cash. Police arrested the pair shortly after the attack and jail officials later found the money stolen from Lynds in Huntley's cell.
Prosecutor William Sanderson said Tuesday that Moore's sentence reflects her limited criminal history, her role in the attack and the wishes of the victim. Lynds is satisfied with the expected sentence, he said.
"Janelle Moore certainly actively participated herself," Sanderson said. "She was doing things both at Huntley's direction and also independently on her own."
Moore is represented by attorney Mark Juda. He noted that Moore would have faced a maximum sentence of 25 years, had she been convicted at trial.
He also compared Moore's involvement with Huntley's.
"By all accounts she was culpable," Juda said of Moore, "but she wasn't as culpable as her co-defendant."
Moore is expected to give birth next month while in the custody of the Schenectady County Jail.