, Salem, MA

October 31, 2013

Peabody woman admits to July carjacking


---- — PEABODY — A Peabody woman will spend a year in jail and another six months on house arrest after admitting to carjacking and driving under the influence of drugs.

Rosa Maria Guarino, 31, of 20 Crane Ave., doesn’t remember everything that happened on the morning of July 10, said her attorney, Gary Zerola, during a hearing on some of the charges yesterday in Salem District Court. But she knows she was impaired by something she took that day.

Prosecutors say, and Guarino has admitted, that around 11 a.m., she attacked a woman and tried to steal her car in the parking lot of Stop & Shop on the Peabody-Salem line. When another woman tried to help, Guarino attacked her, as well, and then drove away in the second woman’s car.

When police in neighboring Salem spotted Guarino in the stolen car, she led them on a pursuit through the downtown that ended only when she encountered a roadblock and then tried to drive over a traffic island, police said. She was ordered from the car at gunpoint.

Prosecutor Janelle Amadon said a glassy-eyed Guarino appeared to be under the influence of some sort of drug and told officers she’d used “dope and crack” that morning.

Guarino had already pleaded guilty last month to the carjacking and assault and battery charges stemming from the incidents in the supermarket parking lot, which is in Peabody, and received a 21/2-year jail term, with a year to be served and the balance suspended for three years.

Yesterday, she admitted to driving under the influence of drugs and was sentenced to a year, to be served concurrently. During the first six months after her release, she will be on house arrest, monitored by a GPS device.

She was also ordered to undergo evaluations for mental health and substance abuse, take part in any treatment recommended by the probation department, will be subject to random tests for alcohol and drugs, which she is forbidden from using, and was barred from driving.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.