Bangor credit union robbery suspect makes first appearance in federal court

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff
Posted July 11, 2011, at 12:20 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — The man accused of robbing a Bangor credit union May 25 made his first appearance Monday in federal court.

Thaddeus Peter McDonald, 32, of Augusta originally was charged on May 27 in Penobscot County with Class B robbery and Class C theft by unauthorized taking in connection with the unarmed robbery of the Penobscot County Federal Credit Union.

Those charges were expected to be dismissed Monday by the Penobscot County District Attorney’s Office, Assistant U.S. Attorney Gail Malone told U.S. Magistrate Judge Margaret Kravchuk at Monday’s brief hearing.

Kravchuk scheduled McDonald’s bail hearing for 1 p.m. Friday. His court-appointed attorney, Matthew Erickson of Brewer, said after the hearing that his client would waive the hearing and agree to be held without bail until his case is resolved.

In federal court, McDonald faces up to 20 years in prison, twice as much time as he would have faced if convicted under state law, for the robbery and theft of more than $6,300.

Because of his criminal record, McDonald could be ruled a “career criminal” and face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.

“There is no hard and fast rule about when the local district attorney or my office prosecutes,” U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II said last week. “We have concurrent authority, so the decision is made in consultation with a DA’s office, taking into consideration a number of factors.”

Those factors, he said, include whether a gun or other weapon is used, whether the threat of a gun or some other form of violence is made and the defendant’s background and criminal history.

McDonald did not use a gun and did not threaten violence but he told Bangor police that he is on probation for aggravated forgery and has convictions on his record for burglary and statutory rape.

McDonald has been held at Penobscot County Jail since his arrest a short time after the robbery unable to make bail. It was unclear Monday whether he would continue to be held there. The U.S. Marshals Service boards pre-trial detainees at jails throughout the state.

McDonald told Bangor detectives that he committed the crime on impulse after recent traumas in his life, including the death of his wife and the loss of his children, and desperation.

According to the affidavit filed in state court, McDonald went into the credit union and at first asked for a withdrawal slip. When the clerk asked for an account number, McDonald allegedly said, “How about you give me all the money in that drawer?”

“[The clerk] stated at first that he thought the male was joking and laughed,” wrote Smith. “The male then stated, ‘I’m serious.’ [The clerk] realized that he was and started to unload his drawer.”

After the clerk had pulled some of the cash from the drawer, McDonald interrupted him by saying, “That’s good,” before fleeing from the bank and removing a black sweatshirt outside.

Affidavits filed by several Bangor officers explained how McDonald used some of the cash to first secure a room at the Charles Inn and then hired a driver with Town Taxi for a more than $200 ride to Augusta. Based on information from a witness, police stopped the taxi near mile marker 180 on Interstate 95 and apprehended McDonald without incident.

McDonald originally told police his middle name was Justice. Documents filed in state and federal court list his legal middle name as Peter.

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/07/11/news/bangor/bangor-credit-union-robbery-suspect-makes-first-appearance-in-federal-court/ printed on September 21, 2014