AUGUSTA — For taking part in an armed home invasion last September and for stealing more than $15,000 in jewelry from his ex-mother-in-law, an Augusta man was sentenced Thursday to 20 years in prison, with all but eight years suspended and three years of probation.

Michael Jo Ruth, 36, also must pay $20,276 restitution for the burglary and theft at the Winthrop home of Priscilla Young, where his ex-wife and daughter also live, and for stealing jewelry and other items from a couple in Augusta.

On Thursday, Young testified that she had amassed some of the jewelry during the years she worked in the diamond department at Service Merchandise.

“I had layaways all the time to add up for my retirement,” she said.

Young testified that among that collection were necklaces and rings she had inherited from her mother.

An Augusta woman testified that Ruth stole her diamond jewelry and her husband’s $3,000 hearing aid, which he kept in her jewelry box.

“These victims should be paid the very conservative amounts that they have testified to here today,” Justice Nancy Mills told Ruth at the sentencing hearing in Kennebec County Superior Court.

Ruth’s attorney, Thomas Carey, argued that Ruth’s ankle and knee problems would prevent him from obtaining jobs similar to the roofing foreman post he held previously.

“Basically, he’s going to be lucky if he’s making minimum wage,” Carey said.

Assistant District Attorney Paul Rucha argued that Ruth should be ordered to repay the full amounts requested.

Ruth testified that he earned about $42,000 a year before going on workers’ compensation following surgery, but owes more than $20,000 in back child support.

Ruth pleaded guilty a month ago to charges of robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery and burglary for his part in the Sept. 5, 2011, home invasion in Manchester where a woman awoke to find a masked man holding a knife at her throat.

However, both he and a co-defendant, Benjamin Pilsbury, 29, of Waterville, denied wielding the knife. Pilsbury previously admitted taking part in the home invasion and is scheduled to be sentenced later Thursday.

They told investigators that a third man, Ricky Allen Lane, 25, of Augusta, actually wielded the knife. Charges in that case and others are pending against Lane, who has previously claimed Ruth carried the knife.

In January, a fourth co-defendant, Mary Catherine A. Tatlock, 30, of Farmingdale, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery in the Manchester home invasion. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison, with all but four years suspended, and three years of probation.

Prosecutors said previously that the group sought money for drugs.

Ruth also had pleaded guilty to two burglary and theft charges at two separate homes in Augusta that occurred Sept. 6, 2011, and to burglarizing his former mother-in-law’s home in Winthrop on Sept. 2, 2011, and stealing her jewelry collection.

Conditions of probation ban Ruth from contact with Young and with the other victims of his crimes.

“I’d just like to say I’m sorry to everybody that it’s involved,” Ruth told the judge.

Some co-defendants were ordered to contribute to restitution as well.

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