Alleged ring thief rejects plea deal

The case of a former caregiver accused of stealing a wedding ring from a patient is headed to trial next month.

Caitlin Mullaney on Tuesday rejected an offer to plead guilty to fourth-degree grand larceny in exchange for a sentence of 1 to 3 years in prison, according to the Albany County District Attorney’s Office.  

The trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 22.

Mullaney, 36, is accused of taking jewelry off a 75-year-old patient at Albany Medical Center as the person was sleeping.

At first, she denied stealing the ring. Then, Mullaney claimed she threw it in a field and offered to lead police to it.

Now she said the ring might be in a pawn shop, and she says it’s possible it has been melted down.

She faces up to four years in prison if she is convicted of grand larceny.

Mullaney could have spent as little as 6 months in jail if she returned the ring to the family, prosecutors said.