AUBURN — Scott Demmons pleaded guilty Tuesday to a string of robberies three weeks after standing in the same courtroom and calling the prosecutor’s account of those crimes “a lie.”
Demmons, 33, of 15 Willow St. admitted in Androscoggin County Superior Court to five robberies, all Class B crimes, each punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
In an agreement reached with the District Attorney’s Office, the most time he’s expected to serve will be five years of a 10-year sentence. He will be allowed at his sentencing hearing later this month to argue for a shorter prison stint.
Demmons was indicted in June, along with Joseph Morris, 25, of 16 Prescott St., Lewiston, on five counts of robbery stemming from a spree that started on April 25 when he and Morris drove to Heathco Variety in Auburn. Morris went into the store and came out saying he couldn’t rob it. Demmons went in next, threatening to shoot, but fled after a customer walked in, according to Assistant District Attorney Andrew Matulis.
The two drove to Domino’s Pizza in Auburn later the same day. Morris went in first, followed by Demmons, who demanded money from the cashier, who gave it to him, Matulis said.
Demmons and Morris smoked heroin and crack that night, Matulis said.
The next day, they drove in a silver Ford Taurus to Sam’s Italian Sandwich Shop in Auburn. Morris dropped off Demmons and drove away. Demmons robbed the cashier. Morris picked him up and they fled by car, Matulis said.
Later that day, he tried to rob Elizabeth Ann’s General Store in Lewiston. Demmons, who wore a black sweatshirt with the hood up, told the clerk he had a bloody nose. After the clerk gave him some paper towels, he put his hands in his pockets and said he had a gun. After he announced he was holding up the store, the clerk called for the store’s owner, who chased Demmons out of the store, Matulis said.
Three witnesses said they saw Demmons and Morris counting money and splitting it in a Pine Street apartment in Lewiston, thinking their actions suspicious. Police had tracked the two men to that location by descriptions of the car in which they fled the robbery scenes, Matulis said.
Police also connected the two suspects to an April 12 robbery of the Corner Variety Store in Lewiston. Demmons was given $567 in cash after threatening in crude terms to shoot the owner of the store, Matulis said.
Demmons remained in Androscoggin County Jail on Tuesday in lieu of $35,000 cash bail.
Morris, who remains in jail in lieu of $30,000 cash bail, is awaiting trial.
Jason Ranger, attorney for Demmons, said his client objected to the account recited by Matulis because Demmons claims he never had a weapon. Ranger said he explained to the defendant that the robbery victims may still have perceived a threat of violence.
When asked by the judge at Demmons’ plea hearing on Jan. 14 whether he agreed with Matulis’ account of the events, Demmons had said: “Most of it’s a lie.”
When asked by the judge on Tuesday about the prosecutor’s narrative of events, Demmons answered simply, “Yes.”
Matulis said several of the robbery victims were expected to give statements at Demmons’ sentencing.