FRENCHVILLE, Maine — Two men were sentenced Wednesday in connection with a violent home invasion committed by a group of four men last year in this rural community.
Aroostook County District Attorney Todd Collins said Thursday that Jeffrey Cashman, 32, of Van Buren and Seth Castonguay, 21, of Van Buren were sentenced in Aroostook County Superior Court in Caribou by Justice E. Allen Hunter for their role in the December 2010 assault and burglary.
All four men were indicted by the grand jury in January 2011. The other two participants, Daniel Rockhold of Van Buren and Nicholas Michaud, 29, of Van Buren, were sentenced in August 2011 and January 2012 respectively.
Police say the intruders forcibly entered the home of 26-year-old Jason Marquis along U.S. Route 1 in Frenchville just before noon Saturday, Dec. 4, 2010. The door was kicked off its hinges. Cashman was the primary aggressor in the assault on Marquis, according to court documents. He broke a wooden chair against Marquis and used it to attack him. Marquis’ twin brother, Brian Marquis, also was assaulted. The men stole an undisclosed amount of money and fled.
Jason Marquis suffered serious head and facial injuries and was taken to Northern Maine Medical Center in Fort Kent and then transferred to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. Brian Marquis suffered minor injuries that did not need medical treatment.
Cashman was sentenced to 10 years on an aggravated assault charge with all but five years suspended, along with three years probation. He also will have to pay his share of more than $72,000 in restitution. He was sentenced to a concurrent five years on a Class B burglary charge.
Castonguay was sentenced on a Class B burglary charge to 10 years in prison with all but 3½ years suspended, along with three years probation and a share of the more than $72,000 in restitution obligations. He also was sentenced to 364 days on a Class D assault charge, to be served concurrent with the burglary charge.
In August 2011, Rockhold pleaded guilty to Class B burglary and was sentenced to eight years in prison with all but two years suspended, along with three years probation and a share of the restitution.
Michaud pleaded guilty in January 2012 and was sentenced on a Class B burglary charge to five years in prison with all but 18 months suspended, along with three years of probation and a share of the restitution.
Collins said that Rockhold, Michaud and Castonguay provided additional detailed information of the home invasion and assault to the police after their indictment and agreed to testify on behalf of the state and provide evidence in Cashman’s trial. Cashman elected to forgo a trial and entered guilty pleas on the morning that his trial was scheduled to begin this past March.
The incident was investigated by state police Trooper Todd Stetson with assistance from state police Detective Adam Stoutamyer and Van Buren police Sgt. Luc Dyer. Collins said Assistant District Attorney April Hare assisted him in the preparation and presentation of the cases.
Collins said in court that the crime “shocked the conscience of the community,” adding that victim Jason Marquis said he has no memory of the incident but will always be reminded of it when he looks at his face. He had to have multiple titanium plates inserted to hold in place bones in his face and around his eyes. He also suffers from residual pain and aching in his face.
Collins said that Hunter called it “the most brutal home invasion and aggravated assault I have been involved in during my 35-year legal career,” adding that the charges easily could have been homicide instead of aggravated assault.
In court, Cashman said he was asked to go to the home to help recover money from a “drug deal” gone bad. The police and the district attorney’s office, however, did not uncover any evidence to support or substantiate that allegation.