AUGUSTA — A Gardiner man who was a key witness in the recent trial of a man convicted of burning down a topless coffee shop was sentenced Tuesday on a charge of skipping out on a monitoring program.

Thomas John Mulkern Jr., 25, pleaded guilty to a charge of escape and was sentenced to six months in jail to be served at the same time as a sentence imposed for cases in Waterville and Bath.

He was absent from a community confinement monitoring program between Dec. 30 and Jan. 3 in Gardiner, according to the complaint in Kennebec County Superior Court.

Mulkern testified Dec. 23 during the coffee shop trial that he accompanied Raymond Bellavance to the scene and even carried one of the two gasoline cans used to ignite the blaze. Mulkern received immunity from prosecution in exchange for his testimony.

Bellavance was convicted of the arson in connection with the fire that destroyed the Grand View Topless Coffee Shop in Vassalboro in 2009.

Mulkern was arrested on Jan. 3 in Waterville and charged with theft, refusing to submit to detention and a probation hold after police responded to a report of stolen money from a house on High Street. Mulkern was wearing hospital scrubs at the time because he had been hospitalized the night before on suspicion of being under the influence of the designer drug bath salts.

Several other people were sentenced in separate hearings Tuesday in Kennebec County Superior Court:

* Laurie A. Allisot, 50, of Windsor, assault Nov. 21 in Augusta; $300 fine.

* Robert L. Bowden, 33, of West Gardiner, operating under the influence Nov. 22 in Gardiner; $500 fine, 90-day license suspension.

* David Louis Champagne, 49, of Oakland, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person Nov. 22 in Oakland; 10-day jail sentence, $1,000 fine.

* Richard S. Cobb, 53, trafficking in prison contraband Oct. 29, 2011, in Augusta; 10-day jail sentence, $400 fine.

* Jasmine A. Dostie-Hewett, 20, of Winthrop, theft by unauthorized taking or transfer Sept. 11 in Monmouth; $1,000 fine.

* Sarah M. LaPierre, 24, of Pittsfield, unlawful possession of oxycodone Nov. 10 in Winslow; 364-day jail sentence, with all but 10 days suspended (to be served in the alternative sentencing program), one-year administrative release, $1,000 fine.

* Guy Paul Russell, 59, of Winslow, terrorizing Nov. 24, 2010, in Winslow; $500 fine.

* Robert F. Stevens, 55, of Augusta, theft by unauthorized taking or transfer Aug. 23, 2010, in Augusta; $1,000 fine.

* Ferdinand K. Walker, 27, of Clinton, criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon and domestic violence assault Feb. 14 in Clinton; three-year jail sentence, with all but 60 days suspended, two years of probation, up to $1,000 restitution.

* Also, Thursday, Laura R. Penney, 32, of Augusta, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor offense of criminal mischief Sept 10 in Augusta; $100 fine or 10 hours of community service; $350 restitution.


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