June 25, 2018
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Judge sentences man to 21 months for stealing donations

By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff

ROCKLAND, Maine — A 23-year-old Washington man will spend nearly 2 years in prisonl for stealing money raised at a benefit for an injured Cushing man.

Justice Jeffrey Hjelm accepted the recommendation of the prosecution and sentenced Andrew J. Blauvelt to 21 months for the theft. The hearing took place Friday in Knox County Superior Court.

Assistant District Attorney Jeffrey Baroody called the crime reprehensible. He said the state was seeking 21 months not only because of the crime, but also because of Blauvelt’s criminal record.

Defense attorney Eric “Rick” Morse said his prior offenses were a string of break-ins at camps that occurred from April through June 2008. The break-ins were done to to obtain alcohol.

Blauvelt has a substance abuse problem, Morse said. He said Blauvelt cooperated with investigators after those break-ins and paid all the restitution for those burglaries when co-defendants did not pay.

Blauvelt spent nine months in jail for those crimes and in the two following years held a job and was an exemplary employee, Morse said. A letter from his boss was presented to the court, citing how reliable a worker Blauvelt said.

The 23-year-old went to the benefit at the West Appleton Country Club on July 28 for Steve Grierson of Cushing, who broke his back in an accident on June 2. Blauvelt was intoxicated and on the way out he and a woman grabbed the the contributions. The woman was also charged.

“I went to the benefit to be supportive,” Blauvelt said.

An estimated $844 in cash was taken. Checks were also stolen and then destroyed.

Morse said that Blauvelt is like a Jekyll and Hyde who acts inappropriately when he drinks. He noted that Blauvelt also had an operating under the influence when he was passed out after driving up to the drive-through window at McDonald’s restaurant after it was closed for the night.

He asked for a 12-month sentence.

Justice Hjelm noted, however, that 21 months was called for because Blauvelt was on probation at the time of the theft.

“You not only stole from the Griersons, but you stole from the community that contributed,” Hjelm said.

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