Deer Isle man gets 6 months in jail on theft charges

Posted June 23, 2009, at 10:31 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 12:05 p.m.

ELLSWORTH, Maine — A Deer Isle man is serving six months behind bars after pleading guilty to multiple crimes last week in Hancock County Superior Court.

Walker R. Gaspar, 21, was accused of committing or participating in several burglaries in Deer Isle and Stonington between April 2007 and October 2008, including the theft of 70 hydrocodone pills from a Deer Isle woman’s home in April 2008, according to documents on file in Superior Court. The pills allegedly were dispersed to juveniles in the Deer Isle area, the documents indicate.

Walker also was alleged to have broken into another woman’s shed in a theft attempt and, on other occasions, to have stolen chain saws, golf clubs, a wood splitter, a safe, money, flashlights and other tools. Besides private homes, places that Gaspar is alleged to have burglarized include R.L. Greenlaw & Son of Stonington and Deer Isle-Stonington High School.

Gaspar pleaded guilty Friday to more than 10 charges of burglary, theft, stealing drugs, violating bail and criminal mischief, court documents indicate. He received an overall sentence of 3½ years with all but six months suspended and will have to serve two years of probation upon his release. He also was ordered to pay $2,937.96 in restitution.

The prosecutor in Gaspar’s case, Hancock County Deputy District Attorney Carletta Bassano, was out of the office Tuesday and could not be reached for comment.

According to Gaspar’s attorney, Steven Juskewitch of Ellsworth, Gaspar pleaded no contest to charges that he stole the wood splitter, which he denies doing.

Juskewitch said Tuesday that despite the drug theft, Gaspar was not motivated to commit crimes by a drug addiction. He said Gaspar was part of a group of Deer Isle area youths who simply couldn’t think of better ways to spend their time.

“It’s more like young people having nothing better to do,” Juskewitch said. “It was youthful foolishness.”

The defense attorney said his client decided to enter the guilty and no contest pleas.

“It was Walker’s decision. He had decided he did not want to contest any of the charges,” Juskewitch said. “He wants to take responsibility for what he did.”

The attorney said he thinks that six months behind bars is fair for the crimes Gaspar committed. He said that, in a more ideal scenario, Gaspar would have been caught breaking the law a few years earlier and given a shorter but still substantial sentence that would have scared him back into law-abiding behavior.

“I’m concerned about not giving a young person the opportunity to learn [about proper behavior] in another way,” Juskewitch said. “If we could catch criminals earlier, it would be better.”

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