Lancaster woman sentenced in fatal drug deal shooting

LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – A Lancaster woman who drove her son and another man to a drug deal that turned deadly last year has been sentenced.

Christine L. Richardson, 38, pleaded no contest for her role in the October 2015 incident that ended with the shooting death of 21-year-old Nicholas Vassallo.

Judge Dennis Reinaker ordered Richardson, who has served about 4 months in prison, to served the next 19 months behind bars, plus five years of probation.

Authorities said Richardson was involved in the planning of the drug deal and provided a ride for Vassallo and her juvenile son to the scene of the arranged deal.

In court, Vassallo’s mother expressed forgiveness but criticized Richardson for leaving her son to bleed and die on the street.


Police said Richardson drove off with her son in the car after Vassallo was shot inside a second car by Robert Peters. Vassallo, Richardson and the juvenile planned to offer a bag of oregano as marijuana to Peters for a $3,500 sale.

In May, Peters pleaded guilty to third-degree murder, robbery, and gun charges. He was ordered to serve 15 to 40 years in prison.

Richardson pleaded no contest to conspiracy to theft by deception, conspiracy to distribute, criminal use of a cellphone, corruption of minors, and endangering a child.

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