Tuesday, March 11, 2014
By Betty Adams firstname.lastname@example.org
AUGUSTA — A burglar must foot the bill for a security system his victims installed after the burglary so they could feel safer.
Part of the restitution ordered for Brandon M. Rimes, 26, of Fairfield is $600 for the installation of the alarm system.
Rimes, who had pleaded guilty Aug. 6 in Kennebec County Superior Court to burglary, theft by unauthorized taking or transfer and criminal mischief, was sentenced today to three years in jail, with all but eight months suspended and two years' probation.
The sentencing hearing was in the same court. Rimes also must serve an additional four months in jail once the initial period of incarceration is finished.
Justice Michaela Murphy ordered Rimes to pay $1,042 in restitution for the items stolen in addition to $600 for the alarm system.
Rimes and a co-defendant sentenced earlier, Jason Horne, burglarized the Oakland home of Charlotte, 88, and Del Lovejoy, 89, on Dec. 6, while the couple slept. Rimes and Horne lived across the street from the Lovejoys.
Conditions of probation ban Rimes from being on Summer Street.
"I'm still upset; I'm still scared to death," Charlotte Lovejoy said today, after learning of Rimes' sentence. "I don't expect to get my money back. I'd like to get my peace of mind back. I'm not going to get that back either."
Lovejoy said she now sleeps with a hearing aid in so she can hear the alarm if it goes off. She said her husband has Alzheimer's disease.
"You can't explain to anybody (the feeling of knowing) that people were in your house and you were sleeping and didn't hear it, to think you get up in the morning and your house is stripped."
Among the items stolen were Christmas presents the Lovejoys had bought for their family. The community responded at the time with donations to help replace the items.
Rimes' attorney, Thomas Tilton, said he had hoped Rimes could stay in the county jail system.
"That was ultimately the result we were looking for," Tilton said. "This was his first charged crime. He's been extremely remorseful. I think the judge made a good call in keeping him out of prison."
Sentences longer than nine months are usually served at a prison rather than in a county jail.
Tilton said Rimes apologized to Charlotte Lovejoy at the hearing at which he pleaded guilty.
"It's a heinous crime," Tilton said. "He needed to be punished. But I think the judge was very fair."
District Attorney Maeghan Maloney, whose office prosecuted the case, said, "I would have preferred that he be sent to state prison, and that's what my office was pushing for, but I respect and understand the judge's decision."
Horne was sentenced Jan. 9 to eight years in prison with all but three years suspended and three years' probation.
Morning Sentinel staff reporter Matt Hongoltz-Hetling contributed to this story.
Betty Adams — 621-5631