March 4, 2010

Man sentenced in baseball bat attackThis is a 6-60-1 dummy headyne yyyyyLOCAL

By TREVOR MAXWELL Staff Writer

— By TREVOR MAXWELL

Staff Writer

PORTLAND — A 28-year-old Windham man will serve four years in prison for robbing a man and beating him with a baseball bat during a home invasion two years ago.

Tyler McFarland was sentenced in Cumberland County Superior Court on Monday to 18 years in prison, with all but four years suspended, plus four years of probation. ''I think it is an appropriate sentence,'' Justice Robert Crowley said of the recommendation that was agreed upon by Assistant District Attorney Robert ''Bud'' Ellis and McFarland's attorney, Clifford Strike.

According to prosecutors, McFarland entered the home of Anthony Nelson in Gray on Sept. 18, 2007. He beat Nelson with a baseball bat and robbed him of prescription oxycodone and a wallet containing more than $200.

A Cumberland County grand jury indicted McFarland in January of 2008, and Maine State Police sent out a news release asking for the public's help in finding him. McFarland turned himself in a few days after the release was issued.

The case went to trial in December, and a jury convicted McFarland on all three charges against him: robbery, burglary and elevated aggravated assault.

Sentencing had been delayed because McFarland's attorney at the trial, Howard O'Brien, became ill and could no longer represent him. Strike, O'Brien's legal partner, took over the case.

Strike said the sentencing agreement came after long discussions with Ellis and with McFarland.

Nelson attended Monday's hearing with relatives, but declined comment afterward. His mother, Sandra Nelson, said she was pleased to see that McFarland was going to prison. She said McFarland should have apologized to her son.

''There's no remorse in that kid,'' she said.

Crowley told McFarland to follow the conditions of his probation after he gets out of prison. Those conditions include no new criminal conduct, no contact with the Nelson family, and random searches for firearms. If McFarland violates his probation, he could be sentenced to the 14 years that Crowley suspended from his sentence.

''Whether this is a four-year sentence or an 18-year sentence is entirely up to you,'' Crowley told McFarland.

Staff Writer Trevor Maxwell can be contacted at 791-6451 or at:

tmaxwell@pressherald.com

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