ELLSWORTH, Maine — A Hancock man accused of robbing prescription drugs from a supermarket this past March has not yet been found guilty but has started serving a jail sentence of at least six months, according to attorneys involved in his case.
Jeffrey Toothaker said his client, Bruce A. Wilbur Jr., has not changed his innocent plea but has agreed to serve half a year behind bars as a condition of being admitted to drug court, which is geared toward helping criminal offenders treat their addictions. As part of a plea agreement with the Hancock County district attorney’s office, Wilbur is expected to change his plea to guilty when he appears in court on July 22.
Wilbur, 23, reported to Hancock County Jail in Ellsworth on Tuesday afternoon. He is accused of taking four bottles of 15-milligram OxyContin pills from the local Shaw’s Supermarket pharmacy on March 31. According to police, Wilbur walked into the store, covered his face with clothing and handed a note to a pharmacy clerk demanding the drugs.
After Wilbur allegedly fled on foot, police tracked his footsteps in the snow to a nearby apartment complex, where they believe he got into a car with friends and rode away. He later confessed during an interview with police, who had posted his photo on Facebook identifying him as a suspect, according to a police affidavit on file at Hancock County Unified Criminal Court in Ellsworth.
Wilbur is facing two Class B felony counts of robbery and one Class C felony count of stealing drugs in connection with the alleged crime. If found guilty, he could be sentenced to as many as 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $20,000 on each of the robbery charges and up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine for the charge of stealing drugs.
Mary Kellett, assistant Hancock County district attorney, said Wednesday that Wilbur will have to stay out of trouble and abide by conditions set by the drug court if he does not want to go back to jail after he is released early next year. She said she did not have details of the agreement directly in front of her, but if Wilbur gets into trouble again after his release, he likely would be sent to prison for seven years.
Wilbur had been released from jail in early April on $2,500 cash bail and was observing a daily curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., according to court documents. Other bail conditions included that he not use or possess alcohol or drugs or related paraphernalia, not possess weapons or firearms, submit to random search and testing, and not have any contact with Shaw’s supermarkets or witnesses in the case.