Thursday, April 17, 2014
AUGUSTA -- Three men convicted of serious crimes between 2006 and 2008 will spend additional years behind bars.
That's because they've repeatedly violated terms of their probation on the prior convictions.
All three will be finished with probation when they are eventually released from jail. The probation revocations all took place this week in separate hearings in Kennebec County Superior Court.
District Attorney Evert Fowle said all three men were given at least several chances to live by the rules.
"They've thumbed their nose at them," Fowle said. "They will serve the bulk of the sentences that they initially signed on for."
Walter McKee, a defense attorney who serves on the board of directors of the Maine Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, echoed Fowle's statement about the effect of mounting probation revocations.
"At a certain point, the court's perspective is 'enough is enough,' " McKee said, adding, "Sometimes it's good for a defendant to simply recognize that probation is not for him."
* Jeffrey Byington, 36, of Augusta, was sent back to prison for 42 months. He was convicted in Bangor of gross sexual assault and visual sexual aggression against a 9-year-old boy in 2007 in Corinna.
Byington originally was sentenced to eight years in prison, with all but three years suspended and three years of probation. Conditions of probation banned him from contact with children under age 16.
Since his initial incarceration, Byington has been back to jail several times for violating probation, serving 30 days, 60 days and 120 days. Each time, the penalty is higher.
On Thursday, it reached the limit.
Byington admitted coming into contact with an 11-month-old while at the Bread of Life Soup Kitchen in Augusta on Aug. 17.
Justice Michaela Murphy sent him back to prison to serve 42 months.
"The judge just decided that enough was enough, and imposed a near-maximum sentence for this probation violation," said Fowle. "He's earned a long sentence."
* Richard J. Dumas II, 30, of Augusta, was ordered to serve 30 months for violating probation, most recently after he was charged with assaulting an officer and reckless conduct in an incident Sept. 30 in Rockland. He was also charged with failure to report to probation and failure to pay a restitution balance of $9,285.
Dumas was sentenced in 2006 to 10 years in prison, with all but two years suspended and three years of probation for convictions on two counts of burglary, five counts of theft, and one count of unlawful possession of scheduled drugs.
He, too, has had repeat probation revocations, according to court records. Among the longest was a three-year stint imposed March 13, 2008.
Fowle said Dumas was found passed out in his vehicle and had syringes and hypodermic apparatus on Sept. 30.
"When a police officer went to wake him up, he fled," Fowle said.
Dumas later turned up in Augusta and was arrested.
"I expect the Knox County district attorney will be seeking additional punishment on their charges," Fowle said.
* Carlos A. Pineda, 28, of Portland, who was convicted in Cumberland County in November 2008 of receiving stolen property, opted for a 25-month probation revocation. When he finishes serving that sentence, he will be free from probation restrictions.
Pineda's original sentence was three years in jail, with all but 45 days suspended and three years of probation. This week, he admitted failing to report to his probation officer, failing to maintain employment, failing to get permission for changing his address and failing to notify his probation officer of contact with police.
His defense attorney, Stephen Bourget, said Pineda rejected a deal in which he would serve 18 months in prison, and then resume probation.
"We were willing to give him one more chance on probation and he decided not to," Fowle said.
Betty Adams -- 621-5631