SOUTHINGTON - An attorney representing a man charged in a bank robbery turned kidnapping is disputing his client’s alleged involvement.
Lamar McCarthy, 35, of Hartford, was arraigned Tuesday in Bristol Superior Court, where his lawyer, Robert Pickering, questioned much of the evidence detailed in the warrant for the arrest.
McCarthy was charged Monday with second-degree robbery, conspiracy to commit second-degree robbery, second-degree larceny, robbery involving an occupied vehicle, engaging police in pursuit, three counts of first-degree kidnapping, one count each of evading responsibility and a number of other motor vehicle charges. He was held in custody overnight.
According to police, on June 18, at about 1:15 p.m., Norman Renaldi, 44, of Meriden, who has also been charged, entered the People's Bank inside Stop & Shop, at 505 North Main St., and handed the teller a note that demanded money. Police said Renaldi implied he may have had a gun. Renaldi, according to police, made off with $12,669 - which was later recovered - and got into a minivan allegedly being driven by McCarthy. The minivan, after it was involved in a motor vehicle accident, was abandoned by the suspects near a gas station, where McCarthy carjacked a Jeep Cherokee, police allege. The elderly man was pulled out of the vehicle, while his wife and two grandchildren, ages 6 and 3, were still inside when it was driven away.
Police allege McCarthy took the vehicle, and that Renaldi, who was caught shortly thereafter, could not get inside. The children and the woman were let out of the vehicle shortly thereafter, near a commuter lot off Exit 26 from I-84, near the Cheshire-Waterbury line. They were not injured.
On Tuesday, Pickering questioned the way in which his client was identified as a suspect. He said McCarthy did not match the description of the second suspect, as he does not have a pierced ear and does not have a heavyset physique - descriptors given to police by witnesses. According to Pickering, the only link between McCarthy and the robbery was his wallet turning up inside the getaway car and Renaldi naming him as his accomplice.
The real question, Pickering said, is whether or not Renaldi gave up his true accomplice or if “my guy is a scapegoat?”
Addressing the issue of McCarthy’s wallet being found in the vehicle, his attorney alluded to the possibility that it was stolen by someone who was drug dependent. He did not elaborate further.
McCarthy’s bond was set at $765,000, and his case was transferred to New Britain Superior Court - where the most serious matters in the area are prosecuted. He is scheduled to appear there on Oct. 17, when the bond can be reargued.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.