June 22, 2018
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Deal reached in Rockland pharmacy robbery case

By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff

ROCKLAND, Maine — An agreement has been reached between the prosecution and defense in the case of a 29-year-old South Thomaston man accused of robbing a Rockland pharmacy last summer.

The details of the agreement are not being released until the plea hearing is held later this month.

Michael R. Willis is charged with robbery, aggravated trafficking in drugs, stealing drugs and possession of drugs. He was arrested Jan. 8 following a lengthy investigation into the July 31 robbery at Jensen’s Pharmacy at the Breakwater Marketplace in Rockland.

In the robbery, a man wearing a sports coat and fedora walked into the pharmacy, gave a note to the pharmacist and demanded oxycodone tablets. The clothing was found along the North End waterfront after the robbery and was tied to Willis by DNA, according to the affidavit filed by police in January.

Assistant Attorney General William Savage said he couldn’t comment beyond what was said in a Tuesday hearing in Knox County Superior Court. In that hearing, Savage and defense attorney Eric “Rick” Morse said that the two sides have reached an agreement which would be submitted to the court within a couple weeks.

Morse told Justice Jeffrey Hjelm he was withdrawing motions to throw out evidence seized by police that claimed police provided false and incomplete information last year when it obtained the search warrant.

Morse also argued that the judge who issued the warrant was not aware that police had submitted an almost identical affidavit to the court earlier for a different suspect and that the criminal record of an informant was much different than had been claimed.

The defense attorney also argued that the police improperly interviewed Willis while he was a patient at Pen Bay Medical Center.

Morse said Willis has spent eight months at a residential rehabilitation center. In the arrest warrant affidavit for Willis, police said his mother told them her son had become addicted to opiates after undergoing surgery.

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