Man headed to trial for robberies inside Groton Stop & Shop

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Jury selection began Monday in New London Superior Court in the case of a man charged with carrying out two separate robberies inside the Stop & Shop on Route 12 in Groton.

John Henri Lamotte, 53, of Bradford, R.I., has pleaded not guilty to two counts of first-degree robbery and one count each of third-degree larceny and fourth-degree larceny. He has opted for a trial by a jury of six people.

Lamotte has been held in lieu of $200,000 bond since Groton Town Police arrested him in February 2018 and charged him with robberies that occurred in 2016 and 2017.  

The town police allege that on Dec. 6, 2016, Lamotte passed a note to an employee at the Stop & Shop courtesy desk that demanded money and implied he had a weapon. He allegedly fled on foot with $2,468.

The other robbery occurred Sept. 18, 2017, at the People's United Bank branch inside the same Stop & Shop. The state alleges that Lamotte implied he had a weapon, demanded money and fled with $1,840.

According to public records, Lamotte had previously been convicted in U.S. District Court in Louisville, Ky., of robbing a bank in Bowling Green in 2005. He was sentenced in 2006 to serve 100 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.

On Monday, he wore civilian clothing and sat with attorneys M. Fred DeCaprio and Dawn Bradinini from the public defender's office as jury selection got under way in the courtroom of Judge Barbara Bailey Jongbloed.

The trial is scheduled to begin Thursday and last for several days.

k.florin@theday.com 

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