Man gets 18 months in shopping list case

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff
Posted Dec. 15, 2008, at 12:38 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — The man who told authorities he stole large and small appliances for two Hampden women who he said gave him a shopping list of items they wanted was sentenced this morning in Penobscot County Superior Court to 18 months in prison.

In a plea agreement with prosecutors, Michael T. Hughes, 38, of Bangor pleaded guilty to one felony theft charge and last week testified against Evelyn Dempsey, 60, and Judy Gariepy, 61, who now lives in Arizona. A jury Thursday found them not guilty of receiving stolen property.

The women did not attend the sentencing.

Greg Campbell, assistant district attorney for Penobscot County, recommended that Superior Court Justice John Nivison sentence Hughes to between two and 2½ years in prison. Defense attorney Terence Harrigan of Bangor asked that the judge sentence Hughes to six months in the Penobscot County Jail because of the way he has turned his life around since being arrested in October 2006 while shoplifting from Kohl’s.

Hughes’ plea agreement allowed him to withdraw his guilty plea and proceed to trial if he was sentenced to more than 2½ years in prison. He faced up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 on the Class C theft charge. The theft was raised from a misdemeanor to a felony due to Hughes’ extensive criminal history, Campbell said.

“This happened 2½ years ago,” Hughes, who been on bail for two years and successfully gone through treatment for his opiate addiction, told the judge. “Since then, I’ve seen my picture on TV and I don’t recognize that person.

“I’m getting off methadone, I’ve gotten my license back, I’ve paid my child support, I have a full-time job,” he said. “I’m begging for mercy.”

In handing down Hughes’ sentence, Nivison did not suspend any it as the defense attorney had recommended. The judge also refused to stay the implementation of the sentence until after the holidays. Hughes was taken from the courtroom to the jail for processing. He is expected to be moved to a state facility later this week.

jharrison@bangordailynews.net

990-8207

http://bangordailynews.com/2008/12/15/news/bangor/man-gets-18-months-in-shopping-list-case/ printed on December 21, 2014