BANGOR, Maine — A 37-year-old Corinth man pleaded guilty to robbing a Bangor bank during an appearance Monday at the Penobscot Judicial Center.
Earl Gary III also pleaded guilty to driving to endanger and to failure to submit to arrest or detention, waiving indictment and his rights to a trial for all of the charges.
After the guilty pleas were entered, Superior Court Justice William Anderson sentenced Gary to five years in prison with all but six months suspended.
He also was ordered to pay restitution of $1,319, undergo two years of probation after his release and undergo random searches and drug testing. In addition, his driver’s license was suspended for 30 days.
The initial sentencing recommendation by the Penobscot County district attorney’s office called for a nine-month jail sentence for the charges but Gary already has served three months for a charge of eluding police, Penobscot County Deputy District Attorney Michael Roberts said.
A father of three, Gary was enrolled at Eastern Maine Community College through the GI Bill program at the time of the robbery.
During Monday’s sentencing hearing, he said he committed the robbery because of a drug addiction he lacked the money to continue to support.
Gary has several convictions on his record, including operating under the influence of alcohol, driving with a suspended license and failing to pay child support, according to court records.
The charges against Gary stem from the Jan. 4 robbery of TD Bank on Stillwater Avenue. Gary reportedly entered the bank shortly after 3 p.m. wearing a hooded sweatshirt with the hood up and a shirt underneath that covered his mouth, demanded and was given cash, and then left in a pickup truck.
Following up on a tip, Detectives Timothy Cotton and Brent Beaulieu of the Bangor Police Department went to a residence in Corinth the next day with the intent of interviewing Gary about the robbery.
When they arrived, however, Gary drove off, leading the detectives on a high-speed chase along icy Route 43. Because of the dangerous nature of the pursuit, the police slowed down and Gary got ahead of them.
When they reached the intersection of Routes 43 and 221 in Hudson, the detectives found the truck off the road. Gary was no longer in the truck, but the detectives saw footprints in the snow leading into the woods and with the help of Penobscot County sheriff’s deputies and a Maine State Police K-9 tracking team found Gary hiding behind a tree in the woods.
Gary was taken to Penobscot County Jail after he was treated at a local hospital for frostbite.
Bangor police were assisted in the investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.