FARMINGTON, Maine — The last of four co-defendants pleaded guilty Tuesday in connection to more than $5,000 in metal stolen Nov. 14, 2012, from an abandoned USA Concrete Plant in Phillips under an Alford plea.
The Alford plea means that Jennifer Tripp, 39, of Readfield does not admit the act but admitted the prosecution could likely prove the charge, her attorney Christopher Berryment said. The court finds the person guilty of the charges under the plea.
Tripp pleaded guilty to felony charges of burglary and theft by unauthorized taking or transfer in Franklin County Superior Court.
Justice Kevin Cuddy approved an agreement that defers sentencing for a year.
Assistant District Attorney James Andrews said if Tripp is successful in following the agreement and no further criminal conducted is committed, the felony charges will be dismissed and be replaced by misdemeanor charges of criminal mischief. Tripp is due back in court on July 11, 2014.
If the matter had gone to trial, Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy Matthew Brann would have testified that he stopped a pickup truck traveling south in Farmington that was overloaded and had metal in it that appeared to have come from a concrete plant, Andrews said.
He would testify that he spoke to the four people in the vehicle and they all denied that the metal was taken from a concrete plant, he said.
Brann had the truck towed to a New Vineyard garage and impounded for safety reasons.
The owner of the concrete plant would have testified the metal taken from inside the plant, which included concrete chutes, had a value that greatly exceeded the value of the metal if it was sold for scrap, Andrews said.
The value was in excess of $5,000, he said.
Cuddy also issued a payment plan to Tripp in an unrelated case out of Lewiston. A warrant had been issued for her for unpaid fines of $240. He ordered the warrant to be withdrawn.
Tripp’s co-defendants involved in the concrete plant case have all pleaded guilty to taking the metal earlier this year. All four were indicted in January.
Robert Arris Jr., 35, of Chelsea was ordered to serve six months of a five-year sentence and two years of probation earlier this year, according to court documents. The sentence was concurrent with a burglary sentence in Kennebec County.
The felony burglary charged was dismissed in the case of Shawn Michaud, 34, of Augusta. He pleaded guilty to felony theft and was sentenced to 71 days to run concurrent with a probation violation.
Angelique Henderson, 34, of West Paris, pleaded guilty to both felony burglary and theft under an Alford plea. Sentence was deferred for one year and she was required to follow the agreement and do 40 hours of community service.
If she completes the agreement she will be allowed to withdraw her pleas and plead guilty to misdemeanor criminal mischief charges.