Sanford man involved in Corinth convenience store burglary gets concurrent time for burning vehicle

Posted June 19, 2014, at 3:26 p.m.
Last modified June 19, 2014, at 4:03 p.m.
Michael Chapman during his trial at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor on April 21, 2013.
Gabor Degre | BDN
Michael Chapman during his trial at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor on April 21, 2013. Buy Photo
A police photo of the storefront damage made during the break-in at the A.E. Robinson store in Corinth on June 22, 2012.
Maine State Police Photo
A police photo of the storefront damage made during the break-in at the A.E. Robinson store in Corinth on June 22, 2012.

BANGOR, Maine — A Sanford man involved in a smash-and-grab burglary two years ago at a Corinth convenience store whose arson conviction was reinstated last month by the Maine Supreme Court was sentenced Thursday at the Penobscot Judicial Center to seven years with all but two suspended.

Michael W. Chapman, 39, is scheduled to be released Friday from the Maine State Prison in Warren after serving a two-year sentence on other charges related to the convenience store burglary in June 2012.

Superior Court Justice William Anderson sentenced Chapman to seven years with all but two years suspended on the arson charge, followed by two years of probation.

The judge also ordered that he serve the time concurrently to his sentence of 3½ years with all but two suspended, which he will complete Friday.

Defense attorney Seth Harrow of Bangor urged the judge to impose concurrent time due in part to how well Chapman had done while incarcerated.

The defendant was working in Washington County on a work release program, but was transferred back to the Warren facility last month after the arson conviction was reversed.

Penobscot County District Attorney R. Christopher Almy did not recommend a specific sentence.

Chapman was part of a quartet accused of backing a stolen pickup truck into the front doors of a Corinth convenience store, taking cigarettes and a lottery ticket dispenser and later setting the stolen truck on fire to cover up the crimes, according to Almy.

Chapman was convicted by a jury in April 2013 of arson, burglary, aggravated criminal mischief and theft by unauthorized taking.

Anderson set aside the arson conviction and sentenced Chapman in October on the other charges. He was held at the Penobscot County Jail unable to make bail for a year prior to his conviction. That time was applied to his sentence.

Almy last year appealed the judge’s decision to grant a defense motion of acquittal on the arson count. The high court heard oral arguments in April and issued its decision overturning Anderson May 22.

Chapman faced up to 30 years in prison on the arson charge and a fine of up to $50,000. He faced up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 on the remaining charges.

Robert L. Mason, 28, of Corinna, Rosemary Peterson, 26, of Palmyra and Clifford John Sprague, 34, of Exeter were indicted on the same charges on which Chapman was tried.

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 early morning break-in on June 22, 2012, at the store.

Sprague, Peterson and Mason were arrested at a house in Auburn where lottery tickets were found in Sprague’s van and cartons of cigarettes were found hidden in a washing machine.

Testimony at Peterson’s trial showed the money from the lottery tickets was used to buy crack cocaine.

Chapman was arrested at a house in Levant where he was staying.

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 store. Shortly after the break-in, the truck was found ablaze at the intersection of Black and West Corinth roads, police said in June 2012.

In addition to prison time, Anderson sentenced Chapman to two years of probation and ordered him to pay $1,000 in restitution to the A.E. Robinson store for damage done during the burglary.

On Thursday, Anderson ordered Chapman to pay Kaufman Motors $500 in restitution for damage done to the truck on the arson charge.

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