Claremont woman pleads guilty to hindering investigation into attempted robbery, shooting

By JOHN LIPPMAN

Valley News Staff Writer

Published: 05-09-2024 8:00 PM

NEWPORT — A 21-year-old Claremont woman who cleaned blood stains from a vehicle used to transport a man who was shot and gravely wounded when he attempted to barge into a downtown apartment, has pleaded guilty to obstructing police in their investigation of the crime. She will, however, avoid jail time providing she sticks to the conditions of her sentence.

Emily Engerman, who had spent four days in jail following her arrest last year, pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor count of hindering apprehension or prosecution of a crime and was handed down a deferred six-month jail sentence in Sullivan County Superior Court on April 18, according to court documents.

Engerman, a 2020 graduate of Stevens High School, must continue to engage successfully in substance abuse co unseling and other treatment programs ordered by the court as part of her conditions to avoid jail time, the documents show.

Prosecutors dropped Engerman’s original felony charge of falsifying evidence under her plea agreement.

“It was right for the felony to be dismissed and for Emily to not be sentenced to jail time. She briefly got pulled into a difficult situation which she did not create. She accepted responsibility for her mistake and is moving forward with her life,” Richard Guerriero, Engerman’s attorney, said via email on Thursday.

Police said that Engerman obstructed their investigation into an attempted robbery and shooting last summer in Claremont by wiping clean blood stains from a vehicle in which a man with whom she was in a relationship at the time had been transported to the hospital after he was shot when he and an accomplice forced their way into a ground floor apartment in downtown Claremont.

The apartment’s occupant told police that he fired at the intruder, Loren Richardson, 35, when he saw Richardson raise a gun. Richardson and his alleged accomplice, Kody Bardin, 30, fled the scene.

Police determined the apartment’s occupant acted in self defense and did not charge him.

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Gravely wounded by the gunshot to the abdomen, Richardson appeared at Claremont’s Valley Regional Hospital, from where he was subsequently transferred to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon for treatment.

A police investigation found that Engerman later cleaned blood stains from the vehicle in which Richardson had been taken to the hospital, according to court documents.

Richardson was not immediately charged after the July 31, 2023, shooting. But seven weeks later, in September, he was charged with four felony counts of burglary and two felony counts of criminal threatening with a deadly weapon.

Bardin, Richardson’s alleged accomplice, is charged with two counts of burglary and two counts of criminal threatening with a deadly weapon.

Both their cases remain pending in court.

Contact John Lippman at jlippman@vnews.com.