Wednesday, April 23, 2014
AUGUSTA -- A Mount Vernon man who stole a neighbor's ATV and used it to haul scrap before stripping it for scrap won't be riding again any time soon.
He's been sent to jail for 30 months.
Ernest L. Gagnon Jr., 29, was also caught on video as he attempted to escape out the window of an interview room at the Kennebec County Sheriff's Office. Gagnon's attorney, William Baghdoyan, said Gagnon was initially summoned on an escape charge in connection with that incident, but it was not pursued.
On Tuesday, Gagnon pleaded guilty to two counts of theft by unauthorized taking or transfer, and one count each of theft by unauthorized use of property, theft of services and criminal mischief, all occurring between Feb. 1 and Feb. 8 in Mount Vernon, Waterville and Oakland. He also pleaded guilty to a charge of theft by unauthorized taking or transfer, which involved the Feb. 10, 2010, theft of two ATVs in Mount Vernon.
Along with the 30-month prison term, he's been ordered to pay restitution of $1,685 to compensate the victims for uninsured losses.
Gagnon also faces possible extradition to Virginia, where he was on probation for grand larceny and auto theft, authorities have said. However, Baghdoyan said Virginia authorities had not placed any holds on Gagnon as of Monday night.
Gagnon was released from prison in Virginia Nov. 11 after serving 22 months of a 10-year sentence for grand larceny and auto theft.
On Feb. 28, Gagnon was arrested by Kennebec County Deputy Jesse Dudda, and confessed to taking a 2005 Toyota 4-Runner from a Mount Vernon residence Feb. 1.
He asked to see his mother before he was taken to the jail next door.
On the sheriff's office surveillance video, Gagnon tells his mother to distract the deputy so he could escape. He also made a cellphone call to a friend to arrange a meeting at the fire station in Augusta. Deputies were waiting outside and foiled the escape.
When Gagnon was 18, he escaped from Bolduc Correctional Center in Warren and stole a series of vehicles before he was picked up in Lynn., Mass., following an accident with one of those vehicles, according to a published report. Court records show he was sentenced to 24 months in prison for that escape and related charges.
Several other people were sentenced in separate hearings Tuesday in Kennebec County Superior Court:
* Tricia L. Barry, 39, of Augusta, theft by unauthorized taking or transfer Nov. 22, in Augusta; 180-day jail sentence, with all but 10 days suspended to be served in the alternative sentencing program, one-year administrative release.
* Buffy M. Belyea, 39, of Augusta, theft by unauthorized taking or transfer Oct. 27, in Augusta; six-month jail sentence.
* Eric D. Powell, 46, of Oakland, operating after habitual offender revocation Nov. 18, in Waterville; 90-day jail sentence, $1,000 fine.
* Veronica Lee Pullen, 39, of Windsor, five counts of forgery, two counts of theft by unauthorized taking or transfer, two counts of negotiating a worthless instrument, and one count each of theft by deception, theft by receiving stolen property, violating conditions of release, operating while license suspended or revoked and false public alarm or report, all between Sept. 26, and March 3, in Augusta, China and Windsor; three-year jail sentence, with all but 90 days suspended, two years of probation, $12,138 restitution.
* Jared A. Quirion, 27, of Waterville, theft by deception June 7, 2010, in Waterville; 364-day jail sentence, with all but 30 days suspended, one-year administrative release, $1,344 restitution.
Betty Adams -- 621-5631