Lancaster woman pleads no contest for role in drug deal gone wrong


LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. –Christine Richardson, 38, was ordered a sentence of 23 months, plus five years probation, according to Assistant District Attorney Travis Anderson.

The Lancaster woman, who pleaded no contest to three felonies and two misdemeanors, was connected to an Oct. 5, 2015 drug deal that resulted in 21-year-old Nicholas Vassallo being shot and killed. It happened in Manheim Township.

A defendant who pleads no contest doesn’t admit guilt, but concedes there is ample evidence for conviction. A no-contest plea has the same legal effect as a guilty plea.

Richardson was involved in the planning of the drug deal and gave Vassallo and her juvenile son to Martha Avenue for the arranged deal.

Vassallo was shot in a separate car by Robert Peters IV, the arranged buyer, and Richardson drove off with her son in the other car. Vassallo, Richardson and the juvenile planned to offer a bag of oregano as marijuana for $3,500.

Richardson has served about 4 months in prison, and will spend the next 19 months on parole. That will be followed by her probation term.

Peters pleaded guilty in May to a third-degree murder charge and is serving 15 to 40 years in prison.