AUGUSTA – Ricky Allen Lane said Wednesday that an opiate drug addiction led him to take part in a dozen crimes in nine days, including an armed home invasion in Manchester.

Lane, 25, of Augusta, also robbed two Augusta convenience stores and held one clerk at knifepoint, burglarized two homes in Augusta and one in Winthrop and twice broke into the headquarters of Al’s Taxi, all between Aug. 28 and Sept. 6.

He pleaded guilty to those charges Wednesday in Kennebec County Superior Court.

“I fell into drugs really hard in a matter of months,” Lane told the judge. “I did things I didn’t think I was capable of doing. I want to apologize to everybody I hurt.”

Justice Michaela Murphy sentenced Lane to 20 years in prison, with all but eight years suspended, and four years of probation. Lane faced maximum penalties of 30 years in prison on each of the three robberies.

“Have no illusions; this is a 20-year sentence,” Murphy told him, adding that he is responsible for doing everything possible to get his life back on track when he is released and must repay victims.

She ordered him to pay $21,115 in restitution. Co-defendants in some of Lane’s crimes also were ordered to pay toward restitution.

Lane’s statements about drug addiction followed presentations by two victims.

Priscilla Young of Winthrop talked about how Lane and her former son-in-law, Michael Ruth, burglarized her home Sept. 2 and stole jewelry she had purchased over the years as an investment for her retirement as well as heirlooms that had sentimental value.

“He took my three-foot armoire full of jewelry,” she said. “I’ll be 69 next month, and I’m still working hard.”

Miles Cloutier, owner of Al’s Taxi in Augusta, where Lane’s break-ins netted $118, told the judge that 10 years was too much initial prison time for Lane. That sentiment was echoed by his daughter, Heather Cloutier, who has two children with Lane.

Heather Cloutier said Lane had worked hard to support her and the children and that she didn’t believe what police told her about Lane’s crimes until he admitted to her that he had done them.

In April 1998, when Lane was 11, another boy shot him in the eye with a BB gun and Lane lost the eye. Heather Cloutier said after the hearing that Lane was teased by other boys because of the injury, and his reaction to it resulted in his juvenile record.

Lane was the fourth and final person to be sentenced in the Manchester home invasion, which Murphy described as the most serious offense.

Assistant District Attorney Paul Rucha, who sought a 10-year initial period of jail time, said Lane had been incarcerated at a juvenile facility for aggravated assault and burglary as well as some misdemeanors.

He listed Lane’s criminal history, beginning with the juvenile offenses in 2003 and ending with a June 2010 sentence for assault that put Lane on probation, which ended shortly before the 13 crimes occurred.

Kennebec Journal Staff Writer Betty Adams can be contacted at 621-5631 or at:

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