POLICE BEAT

Teen with troubled childhood gets break for string of camp burglaries, thefts

Posted Aug. 27, 2012, at 7:31 p.m.
Last modified Aug. 28, 2012, at 8:36 a.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — A 19-year-old man pleaded guilty Monday to 19 charges stemming from a series of camp burglaries in June but he was freed from jail after the court hearing in recognition of his cooperation and because of a difficult childhood.

Knox County Superior Court Justice Donald Marden imposed a three-year jail term but suspended all but 69 days, which is how much time Troy D. Landry has spent in jail since his arrest June 18. The sentence had been a joint recommendation of the district attorney’s office and defense attorney Roger Hurley of Camden.

Because he already has served 69 days, Landry was to be released after the hearing. Justice Marden, however, asked that a probation officer be called in to meet with the teen before he is released from jail.

“A probation officer can be a source of support and help,” the judge said to Landry.

Landry was also placed on probation for three years.

Landry pleaded guilty to seven counts of burglary, seven counts of theft, and five counts of criminal mischief. The offenses occurred June 15 and June 18 at camps in Hope.

“This may seem to be a light sentence,” Assistant District Attorney Chris Fernald said to the judge, adding that if not for the cooperation of Landry, the burglary cases would not have been resolved.

The Knox County Sheriff’s Office was investigating a camp burglary on June 18 when their focus turned to Landry. Landry confessed and agreed to ride along with a sheriff’s department detective and his attorney to point out other camps that he and three juveniles had broken into during the past week.

Fernald said that Landry mainly took food to eat because he was homeless at the time. Other items taken were Cuban cigars, alcohol and a flashlight. The criminal mischief involves either doors that were damaged or windows broken to enter the camps, Fernald said. He said there were more valuable items in the camps but those items were not stolen.

The prosecutor said that the owners of the camps were contacted about the sentence agreement and were in support of the deal. He said some of the victims attributed Landry’s actions to youthful indiscretion, although the district attorney’s office does not view the matter that way.

The prosecutor said Landry had a troubled childhood and was homeless at the time of the crimes and that these were significant mitigating circumstances in agreeing to him serving only 69 days.

Justice Marden agreed.

“You’re carrying quite a burden but you have shown a sense of moral principles that are a big step in the right direction,” the judge said.

The youth said he does not intend to be back in court again.

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