ITHACA, N.Y. — A woman accepted a plea deal Friday after admitting to robbing her ex-boyfriend last December during a series of events that eventually led to his death.
Jamie Gerhart pleaded guilty to felony first-degree robbery after initially being charged with second-degree murder, first-degree robbery and fourth-degree conspiracy. In addition, an indictment recently unsealed charged her with misdemeanor attempted tampering with evidence and felony criminal possession of a firearm in a related but separate incident.
As part of the deal, prosecutors Andrew Bonavia and Diane Lama will recommend a five-year sentence with two and half years of post-release supervision.
She and four other people, some convicted and other not, colluded to allegedly steal 30-year-old Camden Rundell’s marijuana plants. Rundell ran an illegal marijuana grow-site from his basement.
During the alleged robbery, Rundell died. Circumstances leading up to his death, however, remain unclear.
Prosecutors initially said that Gerhart, Dennis Lampila, Roy Clements Jr., Colleen McColgin, Melissa Minnick planned to rob Rundell of his marijuana plants and a fight broke out between Clements and Rundell. Clements was accused of restraining Rundell and suffocated him to death. Throughout a three-week trial, they presented evidence trying to support their case, including testimony from a woman who was at the home when the robbery happened and Forensic Pathologist Dr. James Terzian who testified that Rundell died of asphyxiation due to smothering.
A jury, however, sided with the defense who brought forth their witnesses who contradicted that theory, including a forensic pathologist who suggested that Rundell died from a heart attack brought on by a combination of a past medical condition and drug and alcohol use. Clements testified that there never was a robbery, and that the events from the night were part of a pre-arranged drug deal.
He was found not guilty of all charges against him on Nov. 8.
During Clements’ trial, prosecutors displayed text messages that seemed to indicate that there was some kind of arrangement to be at Rundell’s house Dec. 1 or 2, though whether that was for a robbery or drug-deal remains unclear. Either, way Gerhart was a participant in organizing people to come together for whatever happened during the early morning hours when Rundell died.
When Gerhart was taken into custody Dec. 3, she was found with bags of marijuana and Rundell’s credit card.
Gerhart is scheduled to be sentenced at 9:15 a.m. on Feb. 5.