FARMINGTON — A Franklin County justice declined Monday to lower bail from $5,000 for a Strong man accused of robbing the Big Apple on Farmington Falls Road on Dec. 21, 2010.
Miguel Visuano III, 26, was expected to go on trial Monday but it was continued until June. A jury had been picked on Wednesday.
Assistant District Attorney James Andrews was set to try the case but his father died Saturday. There were attempts to reschedule to later in the week but some jury members couldn’t serve and others knew Assistant District Andrew Robinson, who would have tried the case in Andrews’ absence, Justice Michaela Murphy said.
Visuano’s case will be the first on the trial list in June, she told him.
Visuano is accused of going into the Big Apple and robbing the store while wielding a small bat that had a chain attached to the end of it, according to a Farmington police affidavit.
His attorney, Kevin Joyce, said his client has denied all allegations against him in the case from day one.
He has family in the area including his mother, sisters and his three children, ages 8, 6 and 5, Joyce said.
He has a “fairly limited” criminal record, he said.
Visuano just completed a one-year sentence on a conviction of felony terrorizing, Joyce said.
He successfully completed various programs while in prison including substance abuse counseling and anger management.
“He’s worked here in the community and intends to work when he gets out,” Joyce said.
He is not a flight risk, he said.
The sum total of evidence against Visuano is a statement by a co-defendant Marcia Tracy, he said.
Tracy pleaded guilty to receiving stolen property on Wednesday. She was initially charged with robbery as Visuano is. She is scheduled to be sentenced in June.
The family has limited resources but have scratched together $750 for cash bail, Joyce said.
Visuano spoke to the court telling the judge about the programs he completed to get back on the right track to see his children.
“I finally grew up,” Visuano said.
Assistant District Attorney Andrew Robinson said that Visuano has convictions since 2004 of illegal possession of scheduled drugs, theft, harassment and felony terrorizing among others. The terrorizing conviction was against the mother of his children, Robinson said.
Robinson said that Tracy, who was initially accused of driving the getaway Jeep, told police details that others would not know about what went on between Visuano and the clerk at the store.
“The state feels it has significant evidence” to go to trial, he said.
Joyce said he believes there were flaws in the information provided to police.
It is a felony robbery charge, Justice Murphy said. The cash bail of $5,000 is not excessive given that there was a threat to use some kind of force against the cashier, she said, and declined to lower it.