Jury trial begins for Sanford man accused of stealing lottery machine from Corinth store

Posted April 22, 2013, at 3:55 p.m.
Michael Chapman
Penobscot County Jail
Michael Chapman

BANGOR, Maine — The jury trial of a Sanford man who allegedly was part of a quartet that in June ba cked a stolen pickup truck into the front doors of a Corinth convenience store, took cigarettes and a lottery ticket dispenser and later set the truck on fire to cover up the crimes began Monday afternoon at the Penobscot Judicial Center.

Michael W. Chapman, 38, was indicted in August by a Penobscot County grand jury on charges of arson, burglary, aggravated criminal mischief and theft by unauthorized taking.

Robert L. Mason, 28, of Corinna; and Rosemary Peterson, 26, and Clifford John Sprague, 34, both of Exeter were indicted on the same charges.

Sprague, who was scheduled to be tried Monday, pleaded guilty to those charges and violation of condition of release in a plea agreement with the Penobscot County district attorney’s office.

A sentencing date has not been set.

The two other cases are pending.

The stolen lottery tickets led investigators to the quartet, who went to Auburn to redeem them, according to a previously published report. All four were arrested within hours of the June 22 break-in, which occurred during the early morning hours at the store owned by A.E. Robinson.

The 2002 GMC Sierra pickup truck used in the burglary was reported stolen from Kaufman Motors in Corinna a few days before it was crashed into the A.E. Robinson store in Corinth. Shortly after the break-in, the truck was found ablaze at the intersection of Black Road and West Corinth Road, police said in June.

Penobscot County District Attorney R. Christopher Almy said before Chapman’s trial started that he would recommend Sprague serve 12 years behind bars.

If convicted, Chapman and his two co-defendants face up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000 on the arson charge alone.

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