Experienced Albany attorney Randall E. Kehoe served as counsel for the defendant in this high-profile case:
A Rotterdam drug addict apologized through tears before a judge sentenced her to 4½ to 13½ years behind bars for her part into several firebombing incidents related to a dispute over a woman.
"I got caught up with the wrong people, did the wrong things, started using drugs, and I just want to be a mother to my daughter," Amy Brzoza told Schenectady County Judge Karen Drago on Tuesday. Brzoza, who had earlier pleaded guilty to felony arson, has a 2½-year-old daughter.
The woman was among three people, including her boyfriend, Michael Chambers, who were recruited by the mastermind and jilted lover, Lawrence Ahrens Jr., to destroy the property of his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend on East Claremont Avenue in Rotterdam.
Authorities said the home was targeted more than a dozen times with a homemade container using compressed flash powder and a fuse. The victim, a man in his 40s, moved out after the March 11 incident.
Ahrens, 33, recruited Brzoza, Chambers,33, and Michael Garry, 31, to destroy the property.
On Tuesday, Brzoza's defense lawyer, Randall Kehoe , said his client has accepted responsibility for her actions since being arrested in April 2012.
"Her role in the crime was not that of a planner or organizer," said Kehoe,
Drago blasted Brzoza, who has been on drugs since the age of 16, for driving the getaway car and slamming into Chief James Hamilton's police car and having an improvised explosive device firecracker in her drawer.
"It was egregious conduct. You weren't with your baby when this was happening. You were using drugs," said Drago. "Don't go blaming everyone else because at the end of the day, you knew what was going on. That type of behavior is no going to be tolerated, drugs or no drugs."
The sentence also calls for Brzoza, along with Chambers and Ahrens to make $1,500 in restitution and an eight-year full stay away order of protection.
Last week, Ahrens, who had earlier admitted to second-degree arson and first-degree criminal possession of a weapon, received 15 years in prison. Co-defendants, Chambers and Garry, who have already pleaded guilty to arson, are to be sentenced to 10 to 15 years and 5 to 15 years respectively.
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