AUGUSTA — A Winthrop man serving time in federal prison in Wisconsin pleaded guilty in absentia Monday to theft and criminal mischief offenses that occurred in the summer of 2010.

In exchange for the guilty pleas, the state dismissed a charge of burglary against John J. Woodley, now 55, resulting from the same incident.

Woodley was sentenced to two concurrent 364-day sentences and those are to run concurrent to his federal prison term.

The pleas were entered on Woodley’s behalf by his attorney, Lisa Whittier, during a hearing at the Capital Judicial Center.

Woodley had signed a paper last month giving her the authority to do so.

Woodley is scheduled for release in March 2018, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons website. He is currently at the Federal Correctional Institution in Oxford, Wisconsin.

Woodley had been accused of breaking into a structure in Winthrop between July 31 and Aug. 5, 2010, and stealing tools and other equipment. Restitution of $3,500 was sought initially, but it was dropped on Monday.

In March 2011, Woodley was sentenced to 100 months in federal prison for being a felon in possession of firearms and for stealing 36 handguns on Aug. 15, 2010, by lifting them through a hole he made in the roof of Audette’s Hardware in Winthrop.

The burglary was discovered later that day by an employee arriving for work, and two of the guns were found on the ground near the store.

Woodley was identified as a suspect after police viewed video surveillance footage, and the next day he led authorities to all but two of the remaining stolen weapons, pointing out four soft rifle cases leaning against a tree in the woods where he stashed some of the weapons.

Woodley was issued a summons that same day charging him with the tool burglary.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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