AUGUSTA — One of two men suspected in a Christmas Eve smash-and-grab at Damon’s Beverage Barn on Bangor Street was on probation for a 2008 arson in which he set fire to a woman’s car in Augusta to enable someone to collect insurance.

Anthony Phillip Murphy, 45, of Augusta, most recently had served a 60-day probation revocation jail term on the arson sentence after he was charged with operating under the influence of drugs, operating without a license, trafficking in dangerous knives, possession of marijuana and use/possession of marijuana and heroin, all Aug. 3, 2014, in Turner. He admitted those probation violations Oct. 8 in Kennebec County Superior Court.

Murphy was sentenced in November 2008 to 10 years in prison, with all but 2 1/2 years suspended, and four years of probation for the arson.

Documents in that case indicate he was living at 23 Fowler St., Augusta, near Damon’s Beverage Barn. His nephew, Justin Murphy, 26, who also is accused in the Christmas Eve burglary, also lives there.

Anthony Murphy was arrested on Tuesday and held on $5,000 bail on charges of burglary, theft by unauthorized taking and criminal mischief, pending an appearance Wednesday in Waterville District Court.

On Wednesday night, police still were seeking the younger Murphy.


According to an affidavit by Augusta police Detective Christopher Blodgett filed in Waterville District Court, the break-in was reported by the business owner, Donald Damon, shortly after 8 a.m. Dec. 25 after he found three packs of cigarettes in the parking lot and then saw that glass in an entry door had been kicked in. Police theorized that a brick was used to break the top of the glass and the remainder was kicked in. They also found a footprint on the glass made by someone leaving the scene.

Officers found two more packs of Marlboros on the floor behind the register and an empty sleeve that had contained Marlboro cigarette packs and small bottles of alcohol tipped over on shelves and in and under a trash can.

Video cameras caught the break-in, Blodgett’s affidavit says. Footage from one shows a man wearing jeans, a hooded sweatshirt, dark jacket and light-blue T-shirt and gloves. He can be seen breaking in, taking multiple cigarette packs and alcohol bottles and then leaving. Footage from another shows the man who went inside as well as a second man, who apparently is acting as lookout.

Footage from earlier in the day shows the same two men coming into the store and buying a bottle of liquor. Police recognized Anthony Murphy as one of them, and a store employee identified the other as Justin Murphy.

When police went to the Fowler Street area, they found discarded 50-milliliter bottles of Dr. McGillicuddy’s root beer schnapps, Jim Beam Honey Whiskey and Absolut vodka, according to Blodgett.

Damon told police three pint-sized bottles of Smirnoff vodka and Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum were taken and possibly the 50-milliliter bottles.


According to Blodgett’s affidavit, Anthony Murphy was arrested at work on Civic Center Drive and told police the burglary was not planned. He told police he and Justin Murphy were drinking and walking down the road and that he was surprised when Justin broke into the building.

The two men then took the stolen pints of rum and vodka and drank them at their residence, he said.

Anthony Murphy also was sentenced in September 2006 to four years in prison, with all but six months suspended, and two years of probation for burglary, criminal mischief, theft and failure to stop for an officer, all of which occurred June 29, 2006, in Augusta. He had burglarized Industrial Metal Roofing in Augusta and stolen copper tubing.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

Twitter: @betadams

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