According to TimesLedger.com, Shana Spalding — the 29-year-old lead singer in the New York City-based death metal band DIVINE INFAMY (in which she performed under the stage name of Purgatory) — was convicted on December 13 of armed robbery charges from heists at two high-end New York City boutiques. She will be sentenced January 18, and faces a maximum of 15 years on the top armed robbery charge against her.
Spadling‘s crime spree drew attention because she was accused of being the so-called “cat woman robber” — a serial stick-up artist who donned clever disguises, including a cat mask, to rob boutiques around the city.
In June 24, 2010, Spalding reportedly held up Arche Shoes on Astor Place (see surveillance video below). The next day, she held up a Body Shop store in Astoria, while speaking in a fake Arabic accent and wearing a burka, reported the New York Post. She was caught two months later in a botched robbery as she fled another SoHo store on Greene St.
Spalding had also told cops that she’d been coerced into the final robbery by a mysterious abductor named “Angel Martinez.”
“There is not even a shred of evidence to prove that Martinez exists,” said prosecutor Craig Ortner to jurors, according to the New York Post.
Spalding confessed to two Manhattan robberies, but then contended she was innocent at the trial, a Manhattan DA spokeswoman said.
“I think that that happens a lot,” the spokeswoman said. “It’s not uncommon.”
Spalding is being held in the Rose M. Singer Center on Rikers Island.
Surveillance video of Arche Shoes robbery:
DIVINE INFAMY performance footage:
Photo below by MJ Silano