FARMINGTON – Two men pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated criminal mischief in Franklin County Superior Court Monday, in connection a November 2017 incident that resulted in the destruction of a bulldozer and damaging of an excavator in Sandy River Plantation last year.
Alexander Allen, 38 of Dallas Plantation, and Devon Clark, 19 of Rangeley, both pleaded guilty to aggravated criminal mischief, a Class C felony. Additional charges of aggravated criminal mischief and arson against both men were dismissed. According to the state, Allen is believed to have damaged an excavator on Nov. 13 during an incident that also resulted in the destruction of a bulldozer via suspected arson. Clark is believed to have provided transportation to and from the site to Allen and a third man, Michael Stanley, 23 of Gardner, Mass.
According to information that Deputy District Attorney James Andrews said the state would have presented had the cases gone to trial, investigators with the State Fire Marshal’s Office began looking into the Nov. 13 incident after hunters discovered a burnt-out bulldozer in a swamp located on property belonging to Randy Cousineau of Strong. Cousineau, who owns a timber harvesting and excavation business, also owned the bulldozer and a second piece of damaged equipment, an excavator.
The bulldozer was a total loss. Damage to the excavator was estimated in excess of $9,000.
Fire Marshal investigators spoke to both Clark and Allen, both of whom cooperated. Clark provided transportation to and from the site, although not allegedly with forward knowledge that equipment would be damaged, while Allen used the excavator to try and pull the bulldozer out of a swamp after it became stuck.
Clark’s charge was in the nature of accomplice liability, Andrews said, wherein a defendant is charged not for their own conduct but for assisting another individual committing a crime. Sentencing was deferred for a two-year period: if Clark refrains from future criminal conduct and meets the other conditions of the deferred disposition he will be allowed to withdraw his guilty plea and plead instead to misdemeanor criminal mischief. If he violates the term of the agreement, Clark will be sentenced on the aggravated criminal mischief charge. A Class C felony sentence can include up to five years in prison. Clark’s restitution, paid to the benefit of Cousineau, would be capped at $5,000.
Allen will be sentenced on May 29 on the felony criminal mischief charge. The delay is designed to allow the Dallas Plantation resident to make a $10,000 restitution payment prior to sentencing.
Stanley, the third individual associated with the case, was indicted earlier this year on one count of arson, a Class A felony, and two counts of aggravated criminal mischief by the Franklin County grand jury; the same indictment handed down against Allen and Clark.