Woman admits role in Rotterdam bomb plot
Getaway driver could get up to 13 years
SCHENECTADY COUNTY The third defendant in a plot to bomb a Rotterdam man’s house has admitted her role in the crime and faces 41⁄2 to 131⁄2 years in state prison.
Amy Brzoza, 31, of Kellar Avenue in Rotterdam, pleaded guilty Monday in Schenectady Court to a single count of third-degree arson. Brzoza was part of a four-person plot allegedly masterminded by Larry Ahrens, who wanted to terrorize the new love interest of his former girlfriend. The people detonated explosive devices on the man’s vehicle and East Claremont Avenue home, police said. No one was injured in the incidents, which occurred in March and April, but they caused thousands of dollars worth of damage.
Brzoza was the getaway driver when caught on April 22 fleeing from the scene with her boyfriend Michael Chambers, who has already pleaded guilty in the case.
Brzoza faces a sentence of 41⁄2 to 131⁄2 years in state prison and must pay restitution for the victim’s out-of-pocket expenses as part of an agreement with prosecutors. She had faced up to 25 years to life under the top charge of first-degree arson in a 49-count indictment handed up by a grand jury in June.
Defense attorney Randall Kehoe said his client is a first-time offender and she has an infant son.
Shedding tears, Brzoza admitted to Judge Karen Drago that she has an addiction to drugs.
“Yes ma’am, I was smoking crack,” she said.
Prosecutor John Healy asked that the case file be sealed because the investigation is continuing, plus there are concerns for the safety of potential witnesses. Drago granted the motion.
There is an eight-year order requiring Brzoza to stay away from the parties in the case.
Brzoza is set to be sentenced on Jan. 23. She blew a kiss to family members as she was led out of the courtroom.
Two other defendants, who also have drug addictions, have already entered guilty pleas in the case.
Michael P. Garry, 31, of Glenville Street in Rotterdam, pleaded guilty last month to one count of third-degree arson for damaging the man’s home with a screwdriver and putting an explosive device on his truck. He admitted in court that he is addicted to heroin and cocaine.
On Oct. 3, Chambers pleaded guilty to one count of attempted arson. During his court appearance, Chambers also said he was addicted to crack cocaine. Both men face up to 15 years in state prison.
The case against Ahrens is pending.