AUGUSTA — A Sidney man on Monday was sentenced to 14 years in prison, five of them for burglarizing construction sites that included the future home of veteran Travis Mills, a quadruple amputee.

Clinton Uriah Bates II, 38, also shoplifted and stole copper piping and other items from the burned home of the mother of his child. Nine years of the 14-year sentence are from probation revocations.

“Within a month of his release, he was committing the exact same conduct for which he had been placed on probation,” said the prosecutor, Deputy District Attorney Paul Cavanaugh, at the sentencing hearing for Bates in the Capital Judicial Center. “Frankly the state is seeking a six-year sentence and could justify a longer sentence. While it might be repeated non-violent conduct, it’s persistent, anti-social and relentless. It’s simply inexcusable. It’s time to have enough.”

The lawyer for Bates, however, says in a sentencing memo that the total prison term should be kept to just over seven years.

“Mr. Bates’ persistent and relentless conduct is what drug addicts do,” attorney Kevin Sullivan told the judge Monday. “He was an addict when he went into the jail, and he was an addict when he got out. He still hasn’t received the treatment. He’s going to prison. Hopefully he will get the treatment there.”

Bates himself addressed Justice Robert Mullen, saying, “If I never would have done pills in my life, I never would have been standing here in front of you.”

But Mullen rejected the theory Bates was an addict, quoting from a transcript of the sentencing hearing in May 2014 when Bates told Justice Joyce Wheeler he used only marijuana and had a medical marijuana card for that.

“Either you were lying to Justice Wheeler then or being less than candid with me today,” Mullen said.

Cavanaugh too argued that Bates’ criminal behavior began too long ago to be blamed on substance abuse.

“The state fundamentally disagrees that Mr. Bates is an addict,” Cavanaugh said. “His record dates to 1996. That’s 20 years ago. It’s simply not because he’s an addict. He’s a thief.” Cavanaugh said Bates had made a career of burglary and theft.

The 10 new charges Bates was sentenced on at Monday’s hearing involve the theft of tools from two construction sites, one in Manchester and one in Windsor, and from the burned-out home of Bates’ child’s mother, all in April 2014. He had pleaded guilty June 3 to three counts of burglary, six counts of theft by unauthorized taking and one count of criminal mischief.

Sullivan said April Bouchard, the mother of Bates’ child, sought more than $7,000 in restitution.

Sullivan noted that Bates already owes more than $65,000 in restitution for other convictions and lacks the ability to pay it.

“Mr. Bates is very highly unlikely to have any ability to pay restitution in this matter at any point in his life,” Sullivan wrote.

Neither Cavanaugh nor Sullivan supported imposing restitution orders, and Mullen concurred in that.

“Too many times victims think they’re going to get restitution in cases … .” Mullen said. “Too many times it’s just a pipe dream.”

Mullen also denied a request from Bates on Monday to allow him to remain at the Kennebec County jail until Jan. 4 or 5 so the jail chaplain could marry him and his fiancee, whom he did not name. No one else was in the courtroom to watch the hearing.

In the state’s sentencing memo, Cavanaugh listed Bates’ criminal convictions for burglaries and thefts dating back to 1996.

According to the indictment, Bates stole gloves, a flashlight and locking pliers from the Augusta Wal-Mart on April 21. Two days later, Bates used those items when he burglarized Mills’ Pond Road property, owned also by the Stephen Siller Tunnel To Towers Foundation and the Gary Sinise Foundation, stealing a number of contractors’ tools. The two foundations were building a state-of-the-art “smart home” for Mills, his wife and young daughter.

The retired Army staff sergeant, one of only five quadruple amputees from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, was wounded by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan in 2012.

The same day, Bates burglarized a construction site on Ridge Road in Windsor, stealing an air compressor and other tools as well as damaging a lock.

He also burglarized a home in Augusta, stealing copper piping and tires with rims from Bouchard and another man.

Some of the tools were later located at a pawn shop in Augusta.

Bates, who has been held since April 2014, is expected to be released in about 13 years. Sullivan said Bates would then be on several years probation ordered with previous convictions.

In April, Tiffany Fitzpatrick, 26, of Augusta, was ordered to serve an initial nine months in jail for burglarizing Mills’ property as well as other offenses. The remainder of her five-year sentence was suspended, and she was placed on probation for three years.

Fitzpatrick told police someone drove her and Bates to the two home construction sites.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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