Thursday, April 24, 2014
By Craig Crosby firstname.lastname@example.org
AUGUSTA — A Readfield man will spend seven years in prison for his role in a Randolph home invasion last year during which an elderly man was robbed at knife point.
Kenneth Joseph Maker II, 26, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Kennebec County Superior Court to robbery, theft and burglary.
Justice Nancy Mills sentenced Maker to 15 years in prison, with all but seven years suspended, and four years of probation. Maker also must pay his share of $12,000 taken from the victim the night of the robbery.
A Kennebec County grand jury last month indicted a pair of Gardiner men in connection with the home invasion. Tyler J. Perry, 29, and Jason A. Pratt, 35, are each awaiting trial on two counts each of robbery, theft by unauthorized taking and one count of burglary.
Maker, who initially pleaded not guilty, told the court during Tuesday's hearing that he believed the state had enough evidence to convict him at trial.
"I apologize for an inconvenience or damage I've caused the victim and his family," Maker said.
Maker was one of three people who reportedly woke the 79-year-old Elm Street homeowner around 11:15 p.m. Sept. 22, 2012, and ordered him to open his safe, according to an affidavit filed by Deputy David Bucknam of the Kennebec County Sheriffs Office Major Crime Unit. When the homeowner refused, he was punched in the face and told that people would kill the homeowner's son, who lived next door, if the homeowner did not cooperate.
Kennebec County Assistant District Attorney Joelle Pratt told the court that Maker had done roof work for the victim and had seen take money from the safe for payment.
The victim said one of the robbers was wearing a gauze mask, Pratt said. A tracking dog uncovered the gauze on a path leading from the victim's house to a spot where the robbers' car was parked. DNA on the gauze matched a sample taken from Maker, Pratt said. Maker was carrying a knife that Pratt said was "consistent" with one described by the victim.
"They spent most of the money on cocaine over the next several days," Pratt said.
Maker's attorney, Thomas Carey, said he explained to Maker the strengths and weaknesses of the evidence against him before his client opted to change his plea.
"He's informed me he doesn't want to go to trial," Carey said.
Craig Crosby -- 621-5642