June 25, 2018
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Woman involved in smash-and-grab at Corinth convenience store pleads guilty during trial

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — The woman involved in the aftermath of a break-in at a Corinth convenience store on June 22, 2012, pleaded guilty Monday morning to burglary and theft by unauthorized taking as her jury trial entered its fourth day at the Penobscot Judicial Center.

In a plea agreement with Penobscot County District Attorney R. Christopher Almy, Rosemary Peterson, 26, of Palmyra was sentenced to two years in prison with all but nine months suspended after pleading guilty to one count each of burglary and theft, both Class C crimes. Superior Court Justice William Anderson also sentenced her to two years of probation.

The judge ordered Peterson, who was free on bail, to begin serving her sentence Oct. 21. Anderson also dismissed one count each of arson, a Class A crime, and aggravated criminal mischief, a Class C crime. Class A crimes are punishable by up to 30 years in prison. Class C crimes are punishable by up to five years in prison.

Peterson admitted to picking up her then-boyfriend, Clifford John Sprague, 34, of Exeter, Robert L. Mason, 28, of Corinna, and Michael W. Chapman, 38, of Sanford after they used a stolen pickup truck to burglarize the A.E. Robinson store, her attorney N. Laurence Willey of Bangor said Monday afternoon. The trio backed the truck into the store, smashing the glass front doors, then stole cigarettes and lottery tickets, before setting the stolen truck ablaze, according to testimony presented at Chapman’s jury trial in April.

“This was an accessory-after-the-fact case,” the defense attorney said. “She was Sprague’s fiancee and living with him when this happened. She drove the men to the Lewiston-Auburn area to cash the lottery tickets to get cash for crack cocaine.”

Almy said Peterson’s plea was a good outcome to the case.

“It demonstrates that there actually were four individuals involved, even though there are only three visible on the surveillance videos,” he said Monday afternoon.

Chapman was found guilty by a jury in April of one count each of arson, burglary, aggravated criminal mischief and theft by unauthorized taking. Anderson later set aside the arson conviction. Almy has appealed that decision to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. Chapman, who has been unable to make bail, is to be sentenced on all but the arson charges later this week, his attorney Seth Harrow of Bangor said Monday afternoon.

The same charges are pending against Mason and Sprague.

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