Cemetery vandals’ sentences include $20,000 in restitution

Posted March 01, 2011, at 9:37 p.m.

AUBURN, Maine — Two convicted vandals of Riverside Cemetery in Lewiston were ordered by a judge Tuesday to pay $20,000 in restitution — roughly half the estimated damage to more than 100 toppled headstones and monuments.

The two men were told to split the amount owed; a third was ordered to perform community service in lieu of payment, a judge said.

The three pleaded guilty recently to charges stemming from a nighttime rampage on Aug. 20 that caused an estimated $41,000 in damage.

Androscoggin County Superior Court Justice MaryGay Kennedy upbraided the defendants at the time of their convictions, calling their actions “stupid” and “horrific.”

Jesse Macia, 18, of Lewiston was convicted of aggravated criminal mischief, a felony, and was sentenced to two years in prison with all but 63 days suspended, plus 100 hours of community service.

He also was convicted of the misdemeanor charge of interference with a cemetery or burial ground and was given a sentence equal to the other and to be served at the same time. He recently was charged with violating a condition of his two-year probation stemming from the vandalism. He admitted guilt to that charge Tuesday and was sentenced to 30 days in jail.

Kennedy ordered Macia to pay the cemetery $10,000 in monthly installments to be determined by the Office of Probation and Parole.

Billie Coburn, 19, also of Lewiston, pleaded guilty to the same charges as Macia. He was sentenced to two years in prison with all but two days suspended. He was ordered Tuesday to pay $10,000 in restitution.

Assistant District Attorney Andrew Matulis told Justice Kennedy that Coburn has no job, is on MaineCare and receives food stamps. He doesn’t pay rent and his cell phone bill is paid by the federal government.

He is legally deaf in one ear, but is capable of working despite having no skills and only a 10th-grade education, Matulis said.

“He has earning potential,” Matulis said.

A third defendant, John Manchester, 21, of Lewiston, pleaded guilty to the same charges as Coburn and received the same sentence.

Kennedy ordered Tuesday that Manchester perform 520 hours of community service instead of paying restitution.

Matulis said Manchester’s limited intellectual capacity and eighth-grade education made it unlikely he’d be capable of paying restitution.

Manchester collects a monthly check from the government that barely covers his rent, Matulis said. He has no real assets aside from a few pieces of used furniture, a TV and a Sony PlayStation.

Other than a week spent working on a roof, Manchester has never worked, Matulis said. Manchester has no special skills, suffers from attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, asthma and bipolar disorder.

He has two children: One is 4 years old; the other is 11 months old. He pays no child support.

During Manchester’s sentencing, he was ordered to find gainful employment during his period of probation and to get his GED.

A fourth defendant connected to the vandalism, Shane Haskell, 20, of Lewiston, is seeking admission to drug court. His case was continued to April.

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