La Plata, MD – As most of the jury trials scheduled for Charles County Circuit Court were either continued or ended in plea agreements, justice surged on none-the-less in La Plata.

Nicole Curtina Richardson, 34 of Waldorf, has a long way to go before restitution is paid in her case to a charge that she participated in a theft scheme, and to a charge of theft over $10,000 and less than $100,000.

Charles County Assistant State’s Attorney Sarah Freeman told the court Wednesday, Jan. 21, the state had agreed that if Richardson appeared in court able to pay $3,000 in restitution toward the overall total of $19,967.65, they would not seek active jail time in the case.

“While this doesn’t excuse her actions, the state is aware that her family has ongoing issues in a fraud case relating to real estate,” Freeman told Charles County Circuit Court Judge H. James West. “They were living in the house when they were defrauded and displaced. This doesn’t excuse Mrs. Richardson from defrauding the state, but we do accept that there was pressure and stress on the family. They didn’t know what else to do.”

Richardson’s attorney, Andrew Szekely pointed out that the father of his client’s child was $20,000 in arrears paying his child support, which put the defendant in a bad situation.

“Adding to what the state read you in terms of family stress, she was not receiving child support, but she accepts responsibility for her actions,” Szekely said.

Szekely asked the court for probation before judgement, noting that, “Mrs. Richardson has had no contact with the criminal justice system prior to this.”

Richardson told West, “I only did what I did because I was desperate.”

West granted Richardson probation before judgement and placed her on five years of supervised probation.

“If she completes restitution earlier than she is being asked to and breaks no laws, those conditions may be amended,” West said.

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