AUBURN — A Fairfield teen who pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a Lewiston gas station robbery last summer was sentenced Thursday to five years and a day in prison.

2018 police handout photo of Isaac Sterling

Justice Bruce Mallonee initially declined to accept the agreed sentence for Isaac H. Sterling, who was 19 years old Tuesday when he pleaded guilty in Androscoggin County Superior Court to Class B robbery, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Sterling had agreed to the sentence after passing up other offers from prosecutors of a split sentence in which a portion of the time is suspended or a cap on the amount of time he would be required to serve in prison.

Assistant District Attorney Katherine Bozeman told the judge that split sentences were offered to Sterling in an effort to “minimize the amount of time Mr. Sterling would be serving” in prison and “try to give him an opportunity to prove himself on probation.”

Instead, Sterling asked prosecutors for a sentencing offer that wouldn’t include probation.

On Tuesday, Judge Mallonee told Sterling’s attorney, Lorne Fairbanks and Bozeman that they had done their jobs in providing all of the options available to Sterling that would enable him to engage in substance abuse counseling and treatment.

Then Mallonee spoke directly to Sterling: “My concern is that you, at age 19, have decided you want to go spend five years in prison rather than do things that might take care of whatever it is that’s driving your (criminal) behavior.”

Sterling was arrested one week after his release from Cumberland County Jail in Portland for juvenile crimes.

Police said a clerk at the Irving Mainway at 674 Main St., Lewiston, said a man “with his face covered” came into the store at about 1 a.m. on Aug. 18 and announced it was an “armed robbery.”

Although the suspect didn’t present a weapon, he demanded all of the money in the cash drawer, plus cigarettes, then fled with the cigarettes and roughly $65 in cash.

A short time later, officers watched a silver Cadillac on Main Street drive onto the median, hitting a sign near a crosswalk across the street from Central Maine Medical Center. The car fled the scene but was later stopped by police.

The driver was Sterling, according to a police affidavit. He was taken into custody and charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving property damage and operating without a license.

Police said they found evidence from the robbery in the car Sterling had been driving, including two packs of menthol cigarettes and $65 in cash, the amount stolen from the gas station. On further investigation, police discovered the Cadillac had been stolen from the driveway of its owner on outer Main Street.

Sterling later admitted that he had robbed the store and stolen the car he was driving. He said he had planned to lead police on a car chase before the car broke down.

In addition to the robbery conviction, Sterling pleaded guilty to two counts of theft, one of them a felony. He also pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors, including operating without a license and leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident.

Judge Mallonee ordered Sterling to pay $1,000 restitution for damage to the stolen car.

[email protected]



Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.