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Woman pleads guilty to stealing $12,500 watch from Phillips Exeter student

By JASON SCHREIBER
Union Leader Correspondent

August 23. 2017 9:40PM
Amy Raynes listens to the judge at her sentencing Tuesday in Rockingham County Superior Court. (Jason Schreiber/Correspondent)



BRENTWOOD — An Exeter woman has pleaded guilty to swiping a $12,500 diamond-clad Rolex watch from a student’s locker at Phillips Exeter Academy to support a drug habit.

In a plea deal, Amy Raynes’ one-year jail sentence will be suspended for two years once she completes a 60-day Substance Abuse Treatment Community for Offenders program at Valley Street Jail in Manchester.

The 22-year-old admitted to a felony theft charge for stealing the gold-and-silver watch from a gym locker on Jan. 24 while the student was attending a swim class.

She also admitted to violating probation and pleaded guilty to two counts of receiving stolen property — one for disposing of the watch at a pawn shop and another for receiving stolen automotive parts in an unrelated case.

Her boyfriend, Dakota Winter, 23, also was charged in connection with the theft; his case is still pending. According to an Exeter police affidavit, Winter admitted to their plan to steal from the gym to make some money.

After the theft, Winter told police that he drove Raynes to a Plaistow pawn shop where the watch was pawned for $150. Winter told police the pair then drove to Lawrence, Mass., and bought four grams of heroin.

“Heroin was the primary problem,” public defender Tara Witt told Rockingham County Superior Court Judge Andrew Schulman at Tuesday’s hearing.

The watch was eventually recovered and returned to the student.

Raynes has already received some treatment; she will be on probation for two years after her release. She is also banned from entering buildings at Phillips Exeter Academy.

At her sentencing, Schulman warned her about the deadly toll of the state’s drug epidemic and how drugs on the street are becoming more lethal.

“It’s pretty clear that this is all drug related and it seems that a sentence that gets some treatment and gets some incarceration and treatment and probation and launches Ms. Raynes into a good life after is an appropriate sentence,” he said.

jschreiber@newstote.com


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