AUGUSTA — An uncle and his nephew got very different sentences Thursday in connection with a Christmas Eve smash-and-grab at Damon’s Beverage Mart on Bangor Street.

Justin Matthew Murphy, 27, of Augusta, was sentenced to four years in prison, with all but three months suspended, and two years’ probation and ordered to pay $800 restitution.

His uncle, Anthony P. Murphy, 46, also of Augusta, was sentenced to 14 days in jail, given credit for 14 days served and ordered to pay up to $200 restitution.

Both men were charged with burglary, theft by unauthorized taking and criminal mischief in connection with the Dec. 24 break-in. However, at hearings in Kennebec County Superior Court on Thursday, the prosecutor, Assistant District Attorney Kate Marshall, dismissed the charges against Anthony Murphy and replaced them with one misdemeanor charge of receiving stolen property, recommending a sentence of 90 days. Marshall told the judge that Anthony Murphy was on probation for arson when the offense occurred.

In arguing for the 14-day sentence, Anthony Murphy’s attorney, Lisa Whittier, told the judge the actions by the younger Murphy were spontaneous and stunned his uncle.

“Mr. Murphy’s nephew picked up a rock and threw it at the window,” she said. “This is nothing that was planned in any way.”


Whittier said that the elder Murphy’s role was limited to drinking the liquor that the younger man stole.

“I would like to say I apologize for what I’ve done,” Anthony Murphy said. “If I could go and say I’m sorry to the gentleman it happened to, I would, but I know I can’t.”

Justice Donald Alexander agreed to impose the 14 days, but said he wanted Anthony Murphy to contribute up to $200 toward the restitution, and Murphy agreed.

Justin Murphy’s attorney, Stephen Bourget, said after the hearing that his client admitted it was a spur-of-the-moment decision to break into the store.

“Anthony was walking with him when he did it and was kind of shocked,” Bourget said.

A court affidavit by Augusta police Detective Christopher Blodgett said business owner Donald Damon reported the break-in on Christmas Day and that security footage showed Justin Murphy breaking into the store, taking cigarettes and bottles of liquor and leaving. Anthony Murphy was outside the building and caught on camera as well.


Both men had been in the store buying liquor earlier in the day.

When police responded to the Fowler Street area where the men lived, they found discarded liquor bottles. Anthony Murphy was arrested first, and Justin Murphy turned himself in to police several days later.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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