MACHIAS, Maine — A 28-year-old Baileyville man was sent back to jail Monday after he violated probation conditions stemming from a sentence for the botched burglary of an elderly couple’s home.
Although friends lobbied hard for Michael J. MacKenzie in Washington County Superior Court, Judge Kevin Cuddy ruled that MacKenzie should serve out his two-year sentence.
MacKenzie had been sentenced to two years concurrent, all suspended, in the Department of Corrections for escape, burglary and theft. His probation included the condition that he not possess drugs or alcohol. However, he recently tested positive for drugs. He also was not attending counseling as required by his probation.
MacKenzie, who had successfully graduated from the Washington County Drug Court in March, admitted in court that he had “slipped” and got caught, First Assistant District Attorney Paul Cavanaugh said Wednesday.
In 2001, MacKenzie was one of four men who slashed an elderly Princeton couple’s tires and cut their telephone lines before attempting to break into their house. The couple’s dog awakened them and scared the men off, but the then-85-year-old homeowner sat up with a shotgun until dawn when he went to a neighbor’s home to report the crime. MacKenzie and his three co-conspirators were caught.
The next year, MacKenzie was in court to be sentenced for his role in the botched burglary. Before sentencing, MacKenzie spoke with his lawyer and was supposed to return to his seat. Instead, he ran out of the courthouse to the Machias Savings Bank parking lot, where he stole a company van.
He later abandoned the van in Marshfield. While on foot, MacKenzie made his way to Northfield where he broke into a home and took some money. After a five-hour manhunt, law enforcement officers were able to apprehend MacKenzie without incident.