January 24, 2019
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Memorial Day robber gets 9 years for stickups at bank, Dollar Tree

Courtesy Penobscot County Jail | BDN
Courtesy Penobscot County Jail | BDN
Cara Blewitt, left, and Seth Blewitt, right.

A Connecticut man who, with his wife, robbed a Bangor bank and a Dollar Tree last Memorial Day weekend was sentenced Wednesday to nine years in federal prison for his role in the crimes, which were motivated by drugs.

Seth J. Blewitt, 30, of Oakville, Connecticut, will serve more than six years longer than Cara M. Blewitt, 31, of Oakville, Connecticut, because he carried out the stickups and pointed a sawed-off shotgun at a cashier in the Dollar Tree robbery.

The law requires federal judges to impose a seven-year to lifetime sentence consecutive to any underlying sentence when a defendant robs a bank or a store at gunpoint.

Cara Blewitt helped plan the incidents and drove the getaway car. She was sentenced last month to 33 months in prison. Cara Blewitt said at her sentencing last month that she has filed for divorce.

On Wednesday, Seth Blewitt apologized to the workers at TD Bank and the Dollar Tree, both on Stillwater Avenue, for his actions and for the trauma the robbery caused them.

“There is nothing I can do to justify my actions,” he told U.S. District Judge John Woodcock. “I will not blame my addiction. I will not ask for mercy. I hope to receive proper justice. Those people didn’t deserve what happened.”

Seth Blewitt, who worked as an auto mechanic, became addicted to painkillers after he injured his right hand in 2012, Woodcock said shortly before imposing the sentence. After two years on Percocet, his physicians stopped prescribing the drug and he began buying heroin on the street.

The Blewitts lost their jobs and their home after Cara Blewitt began using heroin with her husband.

Seth Blewitt’s younger sister, Emily Blewitt, who works as an alcohol and drug counselor in South Carolina, told the judge: “I saw my brother turn into someone I see as a client.”

“[Since his arrest], he has called me almost daily to ask what was happening to him in withdrawal,” she said. “The Seth who was addicted to heroin is the person who committed these crimes, not Seth, my brother.”

She and other family members urged Woodcock to “show mercy.”

The judge said the disparity between Cara Blewitt’s sentence and her husband’s “doesn’t seem fair.” Woodcock cut Seth Blewitt’s sentence of 37 months, recommended by the prosecution on the robberies and the federal sentencing guidelines, down to 24 months. The defense attorney urged the judge to impose no prison time for the robberies, just the mandatory minimum seven years for brandishing the gun.

“These were violent and extremely frightening crimes,” Assistant Attorney General Todd Lowell said after the sentencing. “The court recognized that in imposing serious sentences.”

Efforts to reach Seth Blewitt’s attorney, Jon Haddow of Bangor, after the sentencing were unsuccessful.

By pleading guilty, both Blewitts admitted that their short-lived crime spree began at about 12:40 p.m. on Sunday, May 28, 2017, when Seth Blewitt robbed the TD Bank of $500 while his wife waited in their gray Volvo station wagon in the Walmart parking lot nearby.

The next day, he walked into the Dollar Tree at about 4 p.m. with a sawed-off, 12-gauge shotgun, according to the court documents. He left the store with $400 from the register and got into the car, again driven by his wife.

In addition to prison time, each Blewitt was sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $600 in restitution. Police recovered $300 from the robberies.

The maximum sentence for each robbery was 20 years in federal prison and fines of up to $250,000 for each robbery.

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