AUGUSTA — A 22-year-old man cried in court Monday as he read aloud his written apologies to an older woman from Augusta and a hotel clerk in Waterville — both victims in two separate robberies he committed.

“I had no intentions or knowingly would ever cause the injuries (to the older woman) because I’m not a monster,” said Tylor Anthony Reece, of Skowhegan, adding, “I was bad into drugs; I know it’s no excuse, and I’m sorry, very truly sorry.”

In a statement to the hotel clerk, who was not present at court, Reece said, “My intentions weren’t to scare you. I was on drugs and not thinking.”

And he told the judge, “I know I have screwed up huge in my lifetime right now, and I regret that every night in my cell.”

He said he’s been in trouble since he was 15, suffering from mental health problems and doing drugs to forget the pain of losing his parents to drugs and to prison.

Shortly afterward, Reece was sentenced to a combined 25-year prison term and ordered to serve six years immediately, with the remainder suspended while he spends eight years on probation.

“In the final analysis, is the sentence to be overwhelmed by the crime or to be overwhelmed by a sentence that fits the defendant?” Justice Donald Marden said during the sentencing hearing at the Capital Judicial Center. “The defendant stands here with every opportunity for the court for it to create a lifetime criminal. The court’s not willing to do that.”

Marden said Reece “needs to come out of prison with an opportunity to make a life that complies with conditions of probation.”

Reece had pleaded guilty Aug. 9 to the April 18, 2016, to robbery, aggravated assault and theft which left an 82-year-old woman crawling through the rain to her car after Reece knocked her down while snatching her purse in the Hannaford supermarket parking lot on Cony Street in Augusta.

On Monday, Bessie Goudreau, now 83, of Augusta, told the judge, “If (Reece) really was sorry that he threw me on the ground and left me there, I don’t think he would have gone out and robbed somebody else. Words are cheap; actions speak louder than words.”

Goudreau said she felt sorry for Reece. “He’s had a horrible life, and it doesn’t look too good in the future.”

Reece also pleaded guilty to the March 17, armed robbery and criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon at the Waterville Budget Host Inn. Reece had been held in jail pending sentencing.

The prosecutor, Assistant District Attorney Tyler LeClair, asked that Reece spend an initial 18 years behind bars.

“Most pressing to the state is the time line,” LeClair said. “At the time of the first robbery, the defendant had been in the community for 15 months as an adult.”

Prior to that, Reece had been at the Long Creek Youth Development Center for burglaries and thefts and in and out of foster and group homes. Eleven months later, the second robbery occurred at the Budget Inn when Reece was armed with a BB or pellet gun.

“He pointed that weapon at a night manager, walked around the counter, took $250 cash and fled,” LeClair said.

Star Marie Black, 25, who drove the getaway car when Reece fled the Hannaford parking lot after snatching Goudreau’s purse, is serving the initial two-year unsuspended portion of her five-year prison term. She will then spend three years on probation.

Her sentence follows a seven-month sentence for a series of theft, forgery and misuse of identification charges.

Reece’s co-defendant in the inn robbery, Patrick E. Leblanc Jr., 21, of Skowhegan will spend an initial 18 months behind bars for the armed robbery at the Waterville Budget Host Inn earlier this year. The remainder of his five-year sentence was suspended while he serves four years’ probation.

Reece’s attorney, Kevin Sullivan, said in his sentencing memo, “Tylor is too young to be a lost cause.”

He urged the judge to impose a sentence of eight years in prison, with three years of that to be served immediately and the remainder suspended while Reece is on three years’ probation.

“It fits, considering his age, considering he has shown up, plead guilty and accepted responsibility and he’ll have plenty of time while he’s on probation to think about it,” Sullivan told the judge.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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