AUGUSTA — A woman who robbed a man at knifepoint on March 5, 2016, at the Appleton Apartments, at 13 Hathaway St. in Waterville, will spend a year behind bars for her actions, followed by an additional three-year suspended term.

Alison E. Thomas, 36, of Waterville, pleaded guilty Thursday at the Capital Judicial Center to a charge of robbery. A charge of criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon was dismissed. She was sentenced to a four-year term and was ordered to serve the first year, with the remainder suspended. She was placed on probation for two years.

Assistant District Attorney Francis Griffin told Judge Tom Nale that Thomas held a knife to the man’s throat while demanding drugs and money that day.

Griffin said the robbery occurred shortly after Waterville police had been at the same apartment investigating a report of a suspected drug overdose of a visitor there. Thomas and another woman, Laurie A. Philbrick, 42, also of Waterville, were present when police arrived, but left.

The man died four days later at Maine Medical Center in Portland, and Griffin said the cause of death was a heart attack, not a drug overdose.

Griffin said Thomas and Philbrick knew the apartment resident had made a drug run to Connecticut and come home with heroin just prior to the incident, so they returned to rob him of the drugs.

However, the victim told them he had flushed the drugs, Griffin said, so they stole clothing and fled.

Thomas was arrested five days after the robbery when police found her fleeing from the basement of a South End home, extremely intoxicated and with dried blood on her. Philbrick had been arrested a day earlier. Griffin said Philbrick told police that Thomas had used the knife.

Griffin told the judge, “Ms. Thomas has a very, very serious substance abuse problems.” He said the assaults and thefts she committed in the past five to 10 years are drug- and alcohol-related.

Griffin said she is now taking responsibility for her actions.

He also said a six-month sentence was the longest she had received and that plea negotiations took into account the problems a jury might have with the case when they learned about the drug run made by the victim.

Thomas was represented by attorney Lisa Whittier. Conditions of probation require Thomas to undergo substance abuse counseling and treatment.

Philbrick is scheduled for a hearing Oct. 5, also at the Capital Judicial Center.

Nale said he would impose the recommended sentence with reluctance, telling Thomas, “When you get out, two people are going to remember how lenient this was, the district attorney and the sentencing judge.”

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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