BRATTLEBORO -- A Dummerston teen pleaded guilty Thursday to burglarizing a Route 30 convenience store after smashing the front door with a sledgehammer.
Logan Turner-Renaud, 18, received a deferred sentence and -- if he successfully completes three years of probation -- his guilty plea to a felony burglary count could be expunged.
His defense attorney, Jesse Corum, called the incident a "stupid" act that was "out of character for this young man."
"I don't think we're going to see Logan back here," Corum said Thursday in Windham Superior Court Criminal Division.
State police responded to the Circle K gas station, 2557 Route 30, just before 3:30 a.m. Aug. 23 after receiving notification of a burglary from the company's security-monitoring office in Ohio.
Surveillance video showed someone "striking the front door with a sledgehammer," a police affidavit says. The suspect, finding no cash, "pulled out one of his white plastic trash bags and began filling it with cigarettes of multiple brands," police wrote.
About 20 minutes after the burglary, a Brattleboro police officer stopped Turner-Renaud as he drove on West Street behind the gas station. But Turner-Renaud -- who claimed he was "just returning from Newfane where he was dropping off a friend" -- didn't fit the description of the burglar that initially had been provided to police, and he was allowed to leave.
That officer, after subsequently viewing the surveillance video, was "confident" that the burglar was Turner-Renaud, court documents say.
Later that morning, state police went to Turner-Renaud's home, where they found a pile of clothes matching the burglar's along with a notebook "containing a hand-drawn sketch consistent with the layout of the Circle K store."
Turner-Renaud then admitted the burglary, police said. He also acknowledged dropping off two cooperating lookouts nearby -- Michael LoCascio of Vernon and Sharra Rossi of Brattleboro, both age 18.
"The three of them were on a three-way cell-phone conversation during the burglary," the affidavit says.
Both alleged accomplices were charged in connection with the incident. Rossi's case is pending, and LoCascio has pleaded guilty to aiding in commission of a felony.
LoCascio already had been serving a deferred sentence after pleading guilty earlier this year to driving drunk and crashing his car on Interstate 91 in October 2012.
Several of LoCascio's passengers were hurt in that crash. He also pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of the accident.
LoCascio's plea in connection with this summer's Circle K burglary resulted in revocation of the deferred sentence from the 2012 crash. He received an overall sentence of 30 months to five years in prison, with that jail time suspended except for 60 days to serve.
After pleading guilty to burglary Thursday, Turner-Renaud also faces jail time if he does not comply with his probationary conditions.
"The conditions are certainly meant to keep the defendant on the straight and narrow," said Windham County Deputy State's Attorney Steven Brown. "Hopefully, we don't see him back here."
Turner-Renaud declined to make a statement in court. Under questioning from Judge David Suntag, he said he didn't have a "clear reason" for committing the burglary.
Suntag said Turner-Renaud must "follow through on your probation" if he hopes to have the felony removed from his record.
"Do what you're told to do, because the consequences of disobeying a probation officer are really very severe," Suntag said.
Mike Faher can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-254-2311, ext. 275.