PORTLAND – Dylan Libby had broken both of his legs in the crash, and his girlfriend lay seriously injured in the passenger seat beside him, after a police chase from a pharmacy robbery in Yarmouth that exceeded 120 mph.
Yet “by what must have been pure adrenaline,” he got out of the wrecked car to keep running from police on foot, a prosecutor said Friday at Libby’s sentencing hearing in Cumberland County Unified Criminal Court.
Libby didn’t get far that day in March. Police who had chased him to the scene of the crash at an Interstate 295 exit in Freeport took him into custody after a brief foot chase.
Libby, 21, whose last known address was in Bangor, pleaded guilty Friday to three Class B felonies – robbery, aggravated eluding an officer, and aggravated assault, for causing the injury to his girlfriend – and a misdemeanor count of violating conditions of his bail from a prior felony theft case in York County.
Judge Jeffrey Moskowitz called Libby’s actions “catastrophic,” saying it was one of the most serious cases of eluding police he had seen in a long time.
The judge sentenced Libby to serve seven years of a nine-year sentence in prison, followed by a three-year probation term during which he must get substance abuse counseling and refrain from using alcohol or drugs. If he violates the terms of his probation, Libby could be sent back to prison to serve the remaining two years of the sentence. The maximum sentence for a Class B felony is 10 years in prison.
About 10 minutes before the crash on March 27, a pharmacist at the Rite Aid on Route 1 in Yarmouth triggered a silent alarm after Libby came into the story, at about 3 p.m., and handed over a note claiming to have weapons and demanding drugs, said Assistant District Attorney Matthew Tice at Friday’s hearing.
When Libby left the pharmacy with stolen Percocet — a narcotic pain reliever — police were arriving and drawing guns. He got into his Mitsubishi Lancer with his girlfriend, 18-year-old Madeline Damon, then of Yarmouth.
“Police drew down on him and told him to put his hands in the air,” Tice said. “He backed out, hitting a police car getting out of the Rite Aid parking lot.”
That started the chase, with Libby reaching “incredible” speeds, first on Route 1 in Yarmouth and then north on Interstate 295 as he outran police through Freeport, Tice said.
“One officer would have testified that he was going 122 miles per hour, and he was not gaining ground,” Tice said. “The defendant tried to negotiate one of the exits and couldn’t do it, obviously, at that speed.”
Libby’s Mitsubishi rolled several times as he tried to leave the highway at Exit 22 in Freeport. The crash broke Libby’s legs and left his girlfriend with multiple fractures, Tice said.
Libby’s attorney, Luke Rioux, said his client was a struggling heroin addict, suffering from withdrawal symptoms when he decided to rob the pharmacy for drugs.
“Dylan is certainly someone who needs treatment,” Rioux said, asking the judge to impose probation as part of the sentence so he can have a structured program.
Libby, dressed in an orange jail uniform, stood during the hearing, apologizing to the judge, his extended family in the courtroom, his girlfriend and the public.
“I thought I could handle it,” Libby said of his drug use. “I need to make amends.”
Damon, who is still in rehabilitation for the injuries she suffered in the crash, was not charged.
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