Former CAPA teacher who robbed bank, stole from school avoids jail time


PITTSBURGH - A former Pittsburgh Public Schools science teacher who got hooked on heroin and helped rob a bank avoided a jail sentence today and instead will serve house arrest and probation.

Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey A. Manning sentenced Philicia Barbieri, 26, to one to two years in the county jail but paroled her immediately and put her on house arrest for two years. He also imposed an additional three years of probation.

Barbieri is living at a women's group home in Butler that helps recovering drug addicts. She pleaded guilty in December to nine charges, including helping to rob the Fifth Third Bank on Penn Circle in April 2011.

Barbieri is a 2008 graduate of Chatham University and was teaching at the School for the Creative and Performing Arts before she got hooked on heroin. She told police she stole $22,500 worth of laptop computers from CAPA over a period of several months last winter and stole a television from a neighbor in April 2011 to support her heroin habit.

Her former boyfriend, Alvin Carter III, 28, pleaded guilty in December to five charges, including four counts of robbery. Prosecutors said Carter passed a note at the bank demanding $2,000 "or I'll shoot you." Barbieri waited outside and the two were arrested a short time later.

Manning lowered Carter's bond after his plea to allow him to get out of jail to check into a drug rehab facility. He later skipped town and was arrested in Georgia, attorneys said. He has not been sentenced yet.

Channel 11 News exchange partners at TribLIVE contributed to this report.