BRATTLEBORO — A local man was given two concurrent sentences of two-to-five years in prison after pleading guilty to larceny charges.
"There are few things that I can speak of in absolutes but there a few I can when talking about this case," said Kevin M. Lynch, 49, of Brattleboro, during his sentencing hearing at Windham Superior Court Criminal Division on Nov. 3. "The first is my deep regret and remorse for my actions. I am truly sorry for any pains or troubles I caused my victims as well as the embarrassment I caused my family. The second is that my actions will never be repeated."
Lynch classified his actions as "out of character" and expressed his love for his daughter.
Last year, Lynch was accused of burglaries taking place at Domino's Pizza in Brattleboro on Jan. 1; the Mobil gas station at Exit 3 on Putney Road in Brattleboro on Jan. 18; then the same Domino's again on Jan. 26; and the Sunoco gas station at Exit 4 in Putney on Jan. 27.
"There have been a series of robberies at retail establishments in Brattleboro," State's Attorney David Gartenstein said following the hearing. "Judge (Karen) Carroll found those are crimes of violence and that a significant response is necessary to deter that kind of conduct and her sentence reflects those concerns."
Carroll said the burglaries may not have involved physical violence but there were assaultive elements in which "a reasonable person may be in fear," noting threatening statements made during the offenses.
"Certainly, the Legislature in this state has recognized the risk associated with this kind of behavior in making these felonies with a potential 10-year jail sentence. The fact that no gun was used may be a mitigating factor but I presume, or I feel, these days with these robberies and larcenies being so common and associated with the increased use of opiates here, that people who are victimized in this way are probably just told to hand over the money," Carroll said. "We don't want to have to encourage victims of this kind of crime to request to see a gun before they turn over the goods that are being requested."
While documented mental health illnesses and substance abuse issues were considered, Carroll denied Lynch's request for home confinement. Lynch is also required to pay restitution to the businesses.
Two of Lynch's previous driving-while-intoxicated convictions were mentioned during the hearing. Prior to appearing in court, Lynch had admitted to corrections officers who had visited his home that he had consumed alcohol. Lynch also said drug paraphernalia found by officers were not his but guests' he had allowed to stay at his home.
Lynch told Carroll he was no longer allowing people to stay there.
"That's what got me into the difficulty," Lynch said. "That's one of the behaviors I have changed."