AUGUSTA — A former Farmingdale man charged with robbery in connection with a Manchester home invasion two years ago was convicted Wednesday of lesser charges related to the same event.

Joshua R. Lemar, 34, now of Gardiner, entered an Alford guilty plea to charges of aggravated criminal trespass and theft by unauthorized taking, both of which occurred Jan. 10, 2015, in Manchester.

Lemar’s attorney, Lisa Whittier, specified at the hearing at the Capital Judicial Center that it was an Alford plea because the defense does not agree with all the aspects of the state’s evidence but understood he could be convicted if a jury believed it.

The case was scheduled for jury selection Friday. However, Lemar opted for the plea deal, and Justice William Stokes imposed the sentence recommended by the attorneys that called for Lemar to serve 14 months and 20 days in jail — essentially the amount of time he’s been held — with the remainder of the 33 months suspended and one year of probation.

Lemar was expected to be released Wednesday because he has been in jail since his arrest in November 2015.

The prosecutor, Assistant District Attorney Alisa Ross, described the home invasion, saying three people armed with a shotgun, a gas can and a utility knife entered the home, pointed the shotgun at the floor and tied up the man and woman inside with an extension cord and rope. Ross said that the intruders all wore black clothing and had their faces covered, and two of them referred to themselves at times as “Josh” and “Jake.”

They demanded money and took cash, a camera and a telephone and left in the female resident’s vehicle.

Tips led police to Lemar, and he was arrested two days later when police located a bag with 1 pound of marijuana concealed in a grill.

A police report also indicated that marijuana leaves were found in the vehicle when it was located, so police reinterviewed the victims six days later when they said the intruders had demanded money and marijuana from the most recent harvest. The marijuana had been packed in 1-quart plastic bags, the same as the marijuana found in the grill.

The male victim told police he had told Lemar about harvesting the marijuana.

Phone records indicated Lemar was trying to sell pot for $100 an ounce and indicated he had a pound of it available.

Lemar was ordered to pay $200 restitution for the phone, which was not recovered.

No one else was ever charged in the case.

Lemar was on probation at the time of the offenses, and seven months of that probation was later revoked.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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