ELLSWORTH, Maine — A Bucksport man has pleaded guilty to burglary, theft and assault in exchange for a one-year deferred disposition on his sentence, according to documents filed in Hancock County Superior Court.
Jared Colby McDaniel, 19, reached the deal with prosecutors on March 22, the documents indicate.
With the deferred disposition, McDaniel will be able to stay out of jail for a year as long as he does not get in anymore trouble with the law. He also must receive anger management counseling, must perform 60 hours of community service, and must pay a monthly $25 supervision fee, according to the documents. If he can do all of these things successfully, the felony burglary charge will be dismissed and he’ll receive a sentence of 15 days in jail and a $300 fine, the documents indicate.
McDaniel was indicted in December on charges of burglary, theft and assault. According to a police affidavit, McDaniel got into a physical altercation with his girlfriend on Nov. 8, 2010, and then went to the H.O.M.E. cooperative in Orland, where he stole two telephones. McDaniel and his girlfriend had lived at H.O.M.E. before moving to Bucksport, the document indicates.
H.O.M.E. employees discovered the break-in the next morning and called police. One employee told police she had received an anonymous phone call the night before warning her specifically that McDaniel was planning to burglarize H.O.M.E. that night and that McDaniel already had items he had stolen previously from the cooperative in his Bucksport apartment.
Police then went to McDaniel’s home and spoke first to his girlfriend and then to McDaniel, according to the affidavit. The document indicates that McDaniel admitted to police he had taken the items, some of which he obtained by crawling up through a suspended ceiling, over a wall and into a locked office.
McDaniel admitted to stealing the two phones plus, in previous burglaries, a chain saw, computer monitor, cordless drill and a GPS unit. McDaniel told police he stole only items he needed personally but also that he was angry at H.O.M.E. officials for the way he felt he was treated when he lived there. Police indicated they recovered all the stolen property from McDaniel.
McDaniel’s attorney, Steven Juskewitch, said Thursday that H.O.M.E. officials and the Hancock County District Attorney’s Office agreed to a deferred disposition for McDaniel for a couple of reasons. One is that McDaniel had no prior criminal record, which suggests that his behavior over the preceding few months may not be considered normal for him, Juskewitch said. Another is that McDaniel did not damage the items he took and was not interested in re-selling them, but instead was putting them to his personal use, the defense attorney said.
Third, all parties agreed to the deferred disposition because, since his arrest, McDaniel has moved to Augusta to live with his family and has been able to hold down a decent job, Juskewitch said. If he successfully completes the deferred disposition, McDaniel can avoid a felony conviction and keep his job, provided his employer gives him the time off he needs to serve his 15-day sentence behind bars.
“That’s what we’re hoping,” Juskewitch said.
A phone message seeking comment from Assistant Hancock County District Attorney Mary Kellett, the prosecutor in the case, was not immediately returned Thursday afternoon.