Fairfield man on trial for robbery of Skowhegan credit union

Posted June 25, 2012, at 12:49 p.m.
Last modified June 25, 2012, at 6:33 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — The jury trial of a Fairfield man accused of robbing a Skowhegan credit union at knifepoint three years ago began Monday in U.S. District Court.

Forrest T. “Teddy” Goodwin Jr., 33, is charged with armed robbery and aiding and abetting and accessory after the fact in connection with the robbery of the Taconnet Federal Credit Union, located on U.S. Route 201, on June 10, 2009.

Goodwin pleaded not guilty to the charges last year.

His co-defendant, Paul J. Garland, 27, of Oakland, pleaded guilty in April to the robbery.

He is listed as a witness for the defense.

A verdict in the trial is expected Wednesday or Thursday.

Two men, wearing hooded sweatshirts and sunglasses, arrived at the credit union about 10:30 a.m. on a motorcycle, according to court documents.

Garland went inside and demanded money, according to court documents.
He initially was calm but a teller noticed a bit later that he was agitated.

“[Garland] came to the counter and [the teller] noticed that he had a knife in his hand,” according to the version of events to which Garland pleaded guilty. “The male told her to put all the money in the bag, which she noticed was a white, plastic shopping bag with red writing. As [the teller] was putting the money in the bag, the male banged on the counter with the knife and started yelling, ‘Faster, faster.’ After [the teller] put all the money in the bag, the male turned and left the building.”

Garland and Goodwin escaped on the motorcycle with $9,147, according to court documents.

About two hours after the robbery, the motorcycle was found by police behind the residence where Garland was staying, according to court documents. The license plates on the motorcycle were from another vehicle.

On June 11, 2009, Garland fled the state without any luggage and stayed with a friend in Valparaiso, Ind., into mid-August, according to court documents. While there, he paid cash for motels, food and entertainment.

Information about when Garland returned to Maine was not available in court documents.

In his opening statement, Assistant U.S Attorney James McCarthy told the jury of seven men and seven women, including two alternates, that Goodwin was interviewed by police the afternoon of the robbery. He initially denied taking Garland to the credit union, the prosecutor said. Goodwin later changed his story and admitted taking Garland there but denied knowing about his co-defendant’s plan to rob the credit union.

Defense attorney Stephen Smith of Bangor, in his opening statement, questioned why the government prosecutor had 35 names on his witness list compared with the one name on the defense’s witness list.

“Why does the government need to call that many witnesses?” he said.

Garland — and Goodwin, if convicted — each face up to 25 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on the robbery charge. Goodwin faces up to 12½ years in prison and a fine of up to $125,000 on the accessory charge, if convicted.

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