BANGOR, Maine — The elderly Old Town woman who was the victim of a home invasion in December was so traumatized by the event that she cannot return to the home she had lived in for 78 years, her children told a judge Thursday at the Penobscot Judicial Center.
“My mother’s life changed forever when John Taylor broke into her house on December 8,” the victim’s weeping daughter told Superior Court Justice Kevin Cuddy at Taylor’s sentencing. “She is unable to go back in the home she has lived in her whole life.”
The Bangor Daily News is not naming the victim or members of her family who spoke about the impact the crime has had on her. It is the practice of the BDN not to identify the victims of crime.
The elderly woman, who slept in a hospital bed and used oxygen and a walker, continued to live independently until the break-in, family members said. She did not appear in court Thursday.
Cuddy sentenced Taylor, 20, of Old Town to 10 years in prison with all but six years suspended and three years of probation. The judge also ordered Taylor to pay nearly $20,000 in restitution. More than $10,000 of that is owed to the Old Town victim, Cuddy ruled.
Taylor pleaded guilty two weeks ago to one count each of burglary and theft in connection with the home invasion. By pleading guilty he admitted to stealing items, including jewelry that had belonged to the victim’s mother and grandmother, from the house.
His co-defendant, Wayne Sanborn, 30, of Old Town is scheduled to appear in court next month. He also is charged with burglary and theft.
In addition to the Old Town break-in, Taylor pleaded guilty to the Nov. 18 armed robbery of the Veazie MiniMart on U.S. Route 2, along with burglaries, robberies and thefts last year in Milford and Clifton.
In all, Taylor pleaded guilty to and was sentenced on four counts of burglary, two counts of robbery and three counts of theft, all Class B crimes.
Taylor, who has been held at the Penobscot County Jail unable to post bail since his arrest the day after the burglary, did not address the court or the victim’s family.
Cuddy said Thursday that he “reluctantly” accepted the plea agreement between Michael Roberts, deputy district attorney for Penobscot County, and defense attorney Joseph Belisle of Bangor that called for Taylor to serve six years.
The daughter and son of the victim urged the judge to suspend none of Taylor’s sentence. On behalf of their mother, they also asked Taylor to tell officials what happened to the jewelry that had been handed down to her.
“That’s all she wants,” the victim’s son said.
Roberts said after the sentencing that while some of the woman’s stolen jewelry has been recovered, the heirloom rings have not been located.
Taylor faced up to 10 years and a fine of up to $20,000 on each count.