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Man sent to prison for role in robbery at Boothbay Harbor hotel

Maine Correctional Center | BDN
Maine Correctional Center | BDN
Jeffrey S. Cusumano Sr.
By J.W. Oliver, Lincoln County News

An Edgecomb man was sentenced Monday for an armed robbery at a Boothbay Harbor hotel on Sept. 18, 2016.

Jeffrey S. Cusumano Sr., 56, had pleaded guilty July 10 to Class A robbery, according to court documents. Superior Court Justice Daniel Billings sentenced Cusumano to 10 years in custody with all but two years suspended, plus four years of probation.

Cusumano’s co-defendant, Tucker J. Lewis, 23, of Boothbay pleaded guilty to lesser charges earlier this year.

At about 1:30 a.m., Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016, Lewis went to Room 117 of the Boothbay Harbor Inn, at 31 Atlantic Ave., according to an affidavit by Officer Larry Brown, of the Boothbay Harbor Police Department.

The affidavit cites the victim’s account to Boothbay Harbor Officer Tom Chryplewicz immediately after the robbery and his more in-depth statement to Brown and Chryplewicz after returning from the emergency room at LincolnHealth’s Miles Campus in Damariscotta later the same morning.

Lewis confronted the room’s occupant, a 29-year-old man, about a debt and demanded $500, according to the affidavit. The men argued and the argument escalated into a physical altercation.

A third man – later identified as Cusumano – then entered the room, carrying a silver 9mm handgun, according to the affidavit. The victim told police that Cusumano pointed the gun at his head and pulled the trigger, but the gun only clicked.

Cusumano told the victim to pay Lewis. The victim eventually gave Lewis about $120, which was all the cash in his wallet, and a debit card, according to the affidavit.

Cusumano and Lewis left, but about 15-20 minutes later, Lewis returned and demanded the PIN for the debit card, according to the affidavit. The victim wouldn’t give Lewis his PIN and a second fight ensued before Lewis left again.

The victim told police he followed Lewis into the parking lot and saw him get into a silver sedan with Cusumano at the wheel. Cusumano drove away and the victim called the police.

The victim “had red marks on multiple areas of his body and dried blood on his face” when police arrived, Brown said in the affidavit. He sustained a broken finger and cuts and bruises, and also reported chest pain.

Lewis turned himself in the same day and confessed to his role in the crime, corroborating much of the victim’s account.

Lewis told police that after a night of drinking, he received a call from Cusumano, who asked him to help collect money from the victim, according to the affidavit.

Lewis told police the victim wouldn’t pay him, which led to an argument and a fistfight before Cusumano barged in with the gun.

Chryplewicz arrested Lewis on Sep. 19. Brown arrested Cusumano on Sep. 20.

Lewis pleaded guilty March 13 to Class B burglary and Class D assault in exchange for the dismissal of a Class A robbery charge.

District Court Judge Barbara Raimondi sentenced Lewis to five years in custody with all but 43 days suspended, plus three years of probation, for the burglary charge, with a concurrent 43-day sentence for the assault.

Cusumano, in addition to his prison time and probation, must pay $300 in restitution to the victim.

At the time of Cusumano’s plea, the court removed the reference to his use of a gun from the criminal complaint on a motion by the prosecution. The complaint still refers to a dangerous weapon. Court documents do not explain the deletion or its impact on the sentence, and the prosecutor was not available for comment.

Cusumano’s probation conditions prohibit contact with Lewis and the victim; prohibit the possession or use of firearms, dangerous weapons, alcohol, or illegal drugs; subject him to random searches and tests; require treatment for substance abuse; and require him to complete restitution within the first 18 months of probation.

Cusumano completed a residential treatment program for substance abuse prior to sentencing.

Assistant District Attorney Katie R.H. Dakers represented the state in the Cusumano case. Assistant District Attorney Matthew G. Kanwit represented the state in the Lewis case. Waldoboro attorney Philip S. Cohen represented Cusumano. Newcastle attorney William M. Avantaggio represented Lewis.

In addition to Brown and Chryplewicz, Chief Robert Hasch and Officer Nick Upham, of the Boothbay Harbor Police Department, and Detective Sgt. Ronald Rollins and Detective Jared Mitkus, of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, investigated.

Cusumano is in custody at the Maine Correctional Center in Windham, according to the Maine Department of Corrections.

 


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