PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A former teacher who pleaded guilty to stealing computers from a local school was back in court today for sentencing.

Former CAPA teacher Philicia Barbieri was sentenced to what’s called intense intermediate probation, which means she’ll have to wear electronic monitoring for two years and serve a three-year probation period.

Barbieri was fired last spring after she was charged with stealing thousands of dollars in laptops from Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12.

She was also charged in the robbery of a bank in East Liberty with her former boyfriend, Alvin Carter III. The two were arrested shortly after the incident.

The motive was to allegedly pay for heroin.

“This is a young lady who is educated, a school teacher legitimately – was taking Oxycontin that was prescribed to her, was cut off from her prescription, and it ruined her life,” said defense attorney Pat Thomassey.

The judge was prepared to sentence her to jail, but had a change of heart after hearing about her progress and commitment to sobriety.

“I think the judge took into consideration what she’s done to rebuild her life,” Thomassey said.

Barbieri had committed herself to further rehab treatment past her 90-day mandate.

According to Barbieri’s lawyer, her house arrest should continue at the three-quarter house where she is receiving treatment.

She’ll never teach again, but she is working as a waitress and has been accepted to Carlow University where she hopes to earn a Master’s degree.

“You know, this case shows you the impact and the power of heroin addiction,” Thomassey added. “The power of heroin it takes no prisoners.”

Meanwhile, Carter was released last spring for treatment, but according to a defense attorney took off and was later found in Georgia.

He is expected to be brought back to Pennsylvania soon.

Former CAPA Teacher Waives Preliminary Hearing (4/16/11)
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Heather Abraham