June 25, 2018
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MDI pharmacy robbery suspect pleads not guilty

By Bill Trotter, BDN Staff

ELLSWORTH, Maine — A Bar Harbor man accused of robbing a pharmacy of prescription pills pleaded not guilty Thursday in Hancock County Superior Court to three criminal charges.

Donald Mace, 28, is charged with robbery, stealing drugs and violating conditions of release in connection with an incident last November at the Rite-Aid in Bar Harbor.

According to police, Mace walked into the Cottage Street pharmacy on Nov. 15 wearing black sweatpants, a long-sleeve white or beige shirt, a ski mask and a black mask covering his eyes, and allegedly demanded oxycodone. Video recorded by a store security camera indicated that the suspect also appeared to be wearing bright-blue shoes on his feet, police have said.

“Don’t make me get violent,” Mace allegedly wrote in a note he gave a store clerk.

Mace was given some pills and ran out of the store, according to police. He initially evaded police but was arrested a few weeks later at his Ledgelawn Avenue apartment, police have said.

According to the Hancock County district attorney’s office, Mace has been on deferred disposition since last April for an operating after revocation conviction. He was supposed to stay out of trouble for a full year, at which point he would have been able to serve only 60 days in jail instead of nine months and a day, prosecutors have said.

Appearing Thursday with his defense attorney, Charles Helfrich of Ellsworth, Mace entered the not guilty pleas and told Justice Ann Murray that since his arrest he has completed an inpatient substance abuse treatment program and begun outpatient treatment and counseling in Ellsworth and on Mount Desert Island. He asked the judge to amend his bail conditions to allow him to be unsupervised doing carpentry work at his mother’s and stepfather’s house during the day while they are at their jobs. Mace said he needs the work so he can pay for his ongoing treatment.

Helfrich told the judge there are no prescription drugs kept at the home and all alcohol is kept under lock and key.

Murray granted Mace’s request and amended his bail conditions so he could be unsupervised at his mother’s and stepfather’s home for limited times during daylight hours. Mace is expected to appear in court again sometime next month for a status conference.

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