February 13, 2013

Second man pleads guilty to Augusta burglaries

By Betty Adams badams@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

AUGUSTA -- The second of three city men charged in connection with a series of home burglaries last year pleaded guilty Tuesday to 16 charges in Kennebec County Superior Court.

Richard Anthony Hernandez, 20, of Augusta, was sentenced to six years in jail, with all but nine months suspended, and three years of probation for the eight counts each of burglary and theft.

He also was ordered to pay restitution of $14,841 for the items stolen from various homes, located on Bond Brook and Hicks roads and Blaine, South Belfast, Mount Vernon, Eastern and Forest avenues.

Among the items reported stolen in a burglary on Sept. 10, 2012, were a large number of rolled coins, and police later collected video footage from Hannaford supermarket on Cony Street showing Hernandez and a co-defendant, Michael R. Marro, 21, using a coin machine there to redeem $700 in coins that same day.

Jewelry and tools stolen from some of the homes were later located at pawn and jewelry stores in Augusta and Hallowell. Several of the shop owners had photos of Hernandez and Marro and the items pawned.

Marro later told Augusta police Detective Jason Cote that Hernandez and a third man, Christopher T. LaPlante, 23, committed the break-ins to support a heroin habit, according to court documents.

Both Hernandez and Marro rode through the city with police to show them which homes they had burglarized, according to an affidavit by Augusta police Detective Christopher Blodgett.

Marro pleaded guilty last week to five counts each of burglary and theft.

He was sentenced to four years in jail, with all but six months suspended, and two years of probation. The court ordered him to pay restitution of $11,591.

LaPlante has been indicted on charges of burglary and theft in connection with one of the burglaries. He also faces separate charges of forgery and theft.

Betty Adams -- 621-5631
badams@centralmaine.com

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