AUGUSTA — A city woman was well on her way to avoiding a felony conviction for illegally obtaining almost $23,000 in MaineCare and food stamp benefits until she was arrested again on a drunken driving charge.

Kathryn Theresa Dutton, 38, formerly of Oakland, had pleaded guilty Jan. 7 in Kennebec County Superior Court to theft by deception and unsworn falsification between July 2010 and July 2012 in Kennebec County and was placed on deferred disposition for 12 months. If she successfully completed the requirements, then she would stand convicted of lesser, misdemeanor charges.

Instead, she was arrested Sept. 3 and charged with operating under the influence and violating conditions of release as a result of a traffic stop in Augusta.

On Monday, she pleaded guilty to those charges and was convicted of the theft-related charges as well after the deferred disposition was terminated.

Dutton, also known as Kathryn Gagne and Kathryn Markham, was sentenced to 180 days in jail with all but seven days suspended and one year probation. She was fined $700 and her license and registration privileges were suspended for three years.

“This outcome could have been much worse,” Justice Daniel Billings told Dutton after a prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General Darcy Mitchell, and defense attorney Thomas J. Carey described Dutton’s near-completion of the deferred disposition. “I am satisfied here this is a reasonable outcome. It’s a different kind of conduct than gave rise to the underlying charge.”

Carey said Dutton had completed 500 hours of community service by working with victims of sexual abuse, completed substance abuse counseling and maintained full-time employment. He also said she was paying $100 a month toward restitution.

Part of the new sentence requires Dutton to continue to pay toward the remainder of the money owed the state, $20,554.50.

She is to report to jail Dec. 17 to begin the in-custody portion of her sentence.

Also sentenced Monday in separate hearings in Kennebec County Superior Court:

• Nathan Robert Conley, 29, of Benton, violating condition of release and operating while license suspended or revoked July 26 in Benton; 24-hour jail sentence, credit for 24 hours served, $500 fine.

• Charles Brent Davis, 44, of Augusta and Portland, failure to comply with Sex Offender Registration & Notification Act May 22 in Augusta; and two counts of indecent conduct and one count of violating conditions of release Nov. 6 in Augusta; 10-month jail sentence.

• Tamara M. Harmon, 25, of Waterville, unlawful trafficking in cocaine base and unlawful possession of cocaine base July 10 in Waterville; five years in jail with all but eight months suspended and three years probation, $800 in fines.

• Michael D. Oxley, 45, of Vassalboro, operating after suspension July 23 in Vassalboro; $750 fine.

• Lawrence B. Rizza, 32, of Augusta, operating under the influence and attaching false plates July 23 in Augusta; 180-day jail sentence, all but 10 days suspended, one-year probation, $700 fine, three-year license and registration suspension.

• Jeffrey L. Strout, 42, of Chelsea, operating under the influence Aug. 23 in Augusta; $500 fine, 150-day license suspension.

• Nathaniel Taylor, 20, of New York City, unlawful trafficking in heroin June 18, 2013, in Augusta; five-year prison sentence, all but three years suspended, two years probation, $400 fine.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams


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