Melinda Brady, Wife Of Medford Pharmacy Massacre Suspect, Pleads Not Guilty
MEDFORD, NY (CBSNewYork) — The wife of the suspect accused in the Medford pharmacy massacre pleaded not guilty to related charges.
Melinda Brady was arraigned Friday morning at a Central Islip courtroom on third-degree robbery and obstruction charges. A judge set bail at $750,000 cash or a $1.5 million bond.
Assistant District Attorney James Chalifoux said a grand jury will consider more serious charges against Brady when it convenes on Monday.
“It’s based upon her admitted role in what I submit as the most horrific and chilling robbery-murder in Suffolk County history,” said Chalifoux.
Chalifoux said additional charges will depend on what Brady knew and when.
1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reports: Brady May Face Additional Charges
More information is also coming to light indicating that Brady may have been far more involved in the drugstore massacre than previously thought. Brady is being accused of premeditating the robbery, CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported.
According to court papers, Brady told authorities that she and Laffer discussed robbing the pharmacy the night before and that he was only to threaten to steal the drugs.
“Part of her admissions include driving with the defendant to that location and driving away from that location,” Chalifoux said.
Officials said Brady told police her husband went to the pharmacy to steal drugs for her. According to the criminal complaint filed with the court case, Brady also gave Laffer a prescription written for her to use during the robbery.
Brady told detectives her husband was only supposed to threaten the pharmicist and steal the thousands of hydrocodone pills. The complaint also said that Brady knowingly went with Laffer to rob the pharmacy and admitted driving the getaway car — a 1998 Nissan Pathfinder.
Brady was taken to St. Catherine’s Hospital in Smithtown on Thursday but was discharged early Friday morning for her arraignment.
Police say Laffer killed two employees and two customers of the store before stealing prescription drugs. Killed were pharmacist Raymond Ferguson, 45, store clerk Jennifer Mejia, 17, Bryon Sheffield, 71, and Jamie Taccetta, 33.
Police said Laffer and Brady were “obviously under the influence” of narcotics when they were arrested on Wednesday.
Police said they found 11,000 hydrocodone pills, a powerful painkiller, inside Laffer and Brady’s basement apartment at Laffer’s mother’s home in Medford.
WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reports: Brady Seemed Nervous In Court
It’s unclear if all of those painkillers came from Haven pharmacy.
As she was leaving Suffolk police headquarters early Thursday morning, Brady appeared to implicate her husband in the murders.
“He did it. He did all of this,” she told reporters. “He was doing it because he lost his job and I was sick. I’m sorry he did all of this.”
CBS 2 has learned more about Brady’s apparent addiction to painkillers.
According to posts from 2008 on a popular wedding site Long Island Weddings, Brady writes she recently had dental surgery and was taking three different types of painkillers.
“I have been on pills after pills. I am (in) a lot of pain and it is driving me crazy,” she said in one post.
“I only take it if I really have to. I really hate taking them,” she said in another.
In other posts, she wrote she was suddenly feeling depressed.
“I am not a depressed person or anything before this all happened. I was happy,” the post said.
The profile picture on the posts is of Brady and Laffer when they got engaged.
Police say they went through prescription records at Haven pharmacy that showed Laffer was a customer.
Laffer, a former intelligence analyst with the Army, is now being held in a special isolated cell in the Suffolk County Jail. He’s on suicide watch which means officers are watching him 24/7.
Laffer was arraigned Thursday afternoon on first-degree murder charges. He pleaded not guilty and is being held without bail.
If convicted of the crime, what is the appropriate punishment in this case? Sound off in our comments section.