AUGUSTA — Three of four young men charged with a series of motor vehicle burglaries pleaded guilty Thursday in connection with an incident that led to a lockout of Winslow schools in April.

The pleas were entered at separate hearings held at the Capital Judicial Center.

Winslow elementary, middle and high schools went into lockout about 7:30 a.m. April 28 as police investigated a number of motor vehicle burglaries discovered in the Winslow area. Kennebec County sheriff’s deputies had arrested two suspects that morning, but two others were still at large. The lockout lasted until about 10 a.m. that day.

St. John Catholic School in Winslow was in lockout mode as well, as were Benton Elementary and Fairfield Primary. Police said no students or staff were at risk.

Two of the four suspects were arrested after they were caught going through a person’s vehicle that day and the person took a photo of them doing it, according to an affidavit by Winslow Police Detective Bradley Hubert.

According to the affidavit, Jacob B. Stevens, 18, of Ripley said the group had driven to Walmart in Dexter to get a cellphone for Nicholas W. Fortier, 18, of Willimantic, but when they arrived, the store was closed. They then traveled to the Walmart in Waterville, reaching there between 1 and 2 a.m., finding that store closed as well.

The group was riding around having a “booze cruz,” smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol, according to what Stevens told Hubert, and they would get out of the vehicle and burglarize unlocked vehicles. They took a pistol, a GPS unit, a computer, purses and sunglasses from vehicles in the Winslow area.

On Thursday, Stevens pleaded guilty to five counts of burglary of a motor vehicle and five counts of theft by unauthorized taking or transfer and was sentenced to a serve an initial 90-day portion of a 364-day sentence with the remainder suspended, and one year probation. He also pleaded guilty to a felony theft charge and received a 12-month deferred disposition. If he succeeds in avoiding more criminal trouble during that time, as well as fulfilling other conditions, that charge would then be dismissed by agreement.

When Justice Donald Marden asked how he would be able to pay the restitution, Stevens said, “I work now.”

Marden granted his request for a 21-day stay in reporting to the jail to serve the in-custody portion of the sentence after the prosecutor did not object to it. Stevens said he was hoping to give enough notice to his employer that he might be rehired when he was released.

Stevens was represented by attorney Michael Harman.

Fortier pleaded guilty to five counts of burglary of a motor vehicle and five counts of theft by unauthorized taking or transfer and was sentenced to an initial 60 days in jail, with the remainder of the 364-day jail sentence suspended, and he was placed on one-year of administrative release. In exchange for the pleas, a felony theft charge was dismissed.

Fortier’s attorney, David Geller, said the sentence was consistent with what the co-defendants received, and that Fortier had little if any prior record.

“My client has taken full responsibility for his actions, and hopes to be eligible for military service,” Geller said.

“I’ve learned very much from what has happened,” Fortier told the judge.

Conditions of the administrative release prohibit Fortier from having alcohol and illegal drugs and require a substance abuse evaluation. They also ban him from having contact with the co-defendants. He is to report to the jail on Sept. 22.

Ian Scott Machado, 25, of Guilford, like the others, pleaded guilty to five counts of burglary of a motor vehicle and five counts of theft by unauthorized taking or transfer. In exchange for the plea, a felony charge of theft by unauthorized taking or transfer from the same incident was dismissed. Machado was represented by attorney Dennis Jones.

Machado was sentenced to an initial 90 days in jail with the remainder of the 364-day jail sentence suspended, and he was placed on probation for a year. He is to report to jail Sept. 22.

The prosecutor, Assistant District Attorney Alisa Ross, said no fines were requested. “The state is focusing on restitution,” she told Marden.

All three men were ordered to pay toward the $2,600 restitution.

The fourth co-defendant, Slade Carroll Mower, 22, of Ripley, was scheduled for a hearing Thursday as well, but his case was postponed until October. He is represented by attorney Henry Beck.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

filed under:

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.