I e-mailed Nicole wondering if she had any news or updates about the New Jersey 4 and here are some excerpts from her response.
Hi, Heart. It’s real nice to hear from you!
…Patreese and Renata and I are in regular contact. The two of them are in the same prison and have daily contact with each other.
Stream of consciousness:
Renata is pretty lively. In fact, when I teased her by calling her a knucklehead, neither she nor Patreese could deny it. Patreese is more reserved. She keeps closer track of what’s going on with publicity and public actions regarding their case, whereas Renata seems to be doing more research in the law library.
As of a couple months ago, Patreese was still coping with the fact that the judge called her a liar. I reassured her as best as I could and she said that it helped, but it probably didn’t, really.
They’re both taking classes these days. Renata in particular is doing very well in her studies. Renata works out at the gym a lot, and Patreese is working on a holiday newspaper. They both seem to be pretty busy, and they’ve apparently been getting a flurry of letters from supporters. In fact, in her most recent letter, Renata (who was the one Dwayne Buckle tried to strangle) says that she’s been getting some requests for interviews. She’s gonna run that past her lawyer.
Renata’s been eating too much junk food (and subsequently denying it and rationalizing it by turns in her correspondence with me), but they did eat well on Thanksgiving. Renata’s girlfriend made collard greens, ham, chicken, macaroni and cheese, apple turnovers and oreo cake, and Renata reports that she was so full that she “couldn’t even move.”
Patreese’s family sends her food on a regular basis, and she can sometimes cook for herself and Renata.
The woman with Patreese snores, but I got them each a walkman, so that should help.
Someone stole Renata’s colored pencils from Patreese’s locker. Renata was furious and wanted to fight “everyone in here,” but she controlled herself. The anger management classes are paying off! Mollie says that Renata has really matured in the last few months.
So overall the news is not great, but it could really be worse.
By the way, I think I should quote one of Renata’s letters to you, because you’ll want to know this: Renata’s lawyer “said Judge McLaughlin makes a lot of mistakes and he gives excessive sentences and the people of the court don’t like it and about 7/10 of his sentences get reduced or overturned.”
There is information on how to specifically help and support the New Jersey 4 here.