AUBURN — A Leeds man is expected to spend four years in prison in
connection with the kidnapping and robbery of a Livermore Falls man.
Donald White, 30, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Androscoggin County
Superior Court to those charges a day after his trial got under way. A
judge sentenced him to eight years in prison with all but four years
suspended. He also was ordered to spend three years on probation.
White, along with his co-defendant and cousin, David Surette, 19,
also of Leeds, must pay restitution to their victim, Frank Lynch, in
the amount of $5,841.73, together or individually.
Surette pleaded guilty Wednesday to kidnapping and theft. He was
sentenced to three years in prison with all but one year suspended,
plus two years of probation.
During their probation, Surette and White will be forbidden to have
contact with Lynch and his girlfriend, Sara Parker, as well as her
family. White and Surette were ordered not to use or have alcohol or
illegal drugs during probation and were ordered to undergo evaluations
for drug abuse and to get counseling, if their probation officers
decide it's necessary.
Their trial opened Tuesday with statements by attorneys. An
emergency room doctor described injuries he found during an examination
of Lynch three days after the March 24 attack by White and Surette.
Lynch followed with testimony about events that night.
On Wednesday, the defendants reached agreement with prosecutors and
entered guilty pleas, effectively bringing the trial to a halt. Both
defendants were indicted in June by an Androscoggin County grand jury
on five counts, including kidnapping, robbery, theft, assault and
terrorizing, all felonies. The remaining charges are expected to be
Assistant District Attorney Deborah Cashman told a judge Wednesday
that she had planned to call Lynch's girlfriend, police and a crime lab
worker to the stand to continue building criminal cases against the
co-defendants. Justice Robert Clifford said Wednesday he was satisfied
that testimony, coupled with evidence Cashman planned to introduce,
could have resulted in convictions of White and Surette.
Cashman said Surette's sentence reflected his secondary role in the events, with White serving as the apparent leader.
Prosecutors said Lynch drove to White's home after dropping off his
girlfriend at her Livermore Falls mobile home on the night of March 24.
Lynch had arranged to buy White's Honda Civic for $300.
When Lynch arrived at White's home, Lynch was robbed, beaten and
tied up by White and Surette in White's garage. Lynch was stuffed in the trunk of White's
Lexus and driven to the home of Lynch's girlfriend. Once inside, White
and Surette stole more of Lynch's cash, then drove back to White's
garage, where he wrote a bill of sale to Lynch for the Honda. He then
Lynch didn't report the incident to police, who found out secondhand
and later tracked down Lynch and took him to a Lewiston hospital.
Surette pleaded guilty later Wednesday to charges of hindering
apprehension and violation of condition of release in connection with
an unrelated incident that occurred in September, also involving White.
Surette was sentenced to a year in jail on the first charge and 30 days
for the second. He will serve both sentences at the same time as his
sentence stemming from the March events, a court clerk said.
Police said Surette helped White avoid capture by authorities
following a hit-and-run accident that left a Turner man in critical
condition. Police said Surette knew where White was staying while
police were searching for him but denied he knew where his cousin could
White was indicted earlier this month in connection with the
hit-and-run. He was charged with elevated aggravated assault,
aggravated assault, violation of condition of release, leaving the
scene, theft by extortion and failure to appear in court.