ELLSWORTH, Maine — A Millinocket man is going to prison for 10 years for trying to rob the Town Hill Market in Bar Harbor at gunpoint last spring.
Chris P. Stevens, 39, was foiled in the robbery attempt by market owner Richard Simis, who wrestled with Stevens and got his gun away. The pistol discharged twice as the two men wrestled inside the store before it opened for business for the day, but neither man was shot. After he disarmed Stevens, the store owner held him at knifepoint and flagged down a motorist before police arrived.
According to the Hancock County District Attorney’s Office, Stevens pleaded guilty on Aug. 28 in Hancock County Superior Court to the robbery attempt. He received an overall sentence of 15 years with all but 10 years suspended, plus an additional four years of probation after he is released. Robbery is a Class A crime in Maine, punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.
During his probation, Stevens is banned from being on Mount Desert Island for any reason, according to court documents. He also was ordered to pay $1,335 in fines and fees.
Stevens also pleaded guilty to other charges related to the incident, including burglary, theft, operating a motor vehicle after revocation, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and violating conditions of release, according to the district attorney’s office. He received a concurrent six-year sentence for the burglary and theft convictions, a concurrent one-year sentence for the operating and possession charges, and a six-month concurrent sentence for violating conditions of release.
Stevens was charged with burglary and theft for stealing the firearm used in the robbery attempt, a .22-caliber pistol, from the home of a local friend the day before his arrest. Stevens had been staying and working on MDI for at least several weeks prior to the incident, police have said.
According to a police affidavit, Stevens told police when he was arrested that he was on probation for trafficking in cocaine. He has a prior conviction from January 2011 from Aroostook County Superior Court in Houlton for unlawful trafficking in scheduled drugs, court documents indicate.
Stevens told police that he tried to rob the store because he needed money to settle a drug debt with people in Millinocket who had threatened him, police wrote in the affidavit.