Man pleads not guilty to taking metal

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FARMINGTON — A Chelsea man pleaded not guilty Friday to taking scrap metal, radiators and batteries from an abandoned concrete plant in Phillips in November 2012.

Robert E. Arris Jr., 34, entered the not guilty pleas to felony charges of burglary and theft in Franklin County Superior Court.

Arris was indicted Jan. 16 on the charges. Three others accused of the same charges in the same case were also indicted: Shawn Michaud, 33, of Augusta, Angelique Henderson, 34, of West Paris and Jennifer Tripp, 38, of Readfield.

A Franklin County sheriff’s deputy stopped a truck hauling a trailer loaded with scrap metal after the deputy noticed a defect and the trailer and truck being overloaded.

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Deputy Matt Brann asked the driver and three passengers where the metal came from and was told it came from a man in Phillips, Deputy Nate Reid said in November.

Brann was pretty sure the metal came from the abandoned USA Concrete Plant on Route 4 in Phillips, Reid had said. Brann had the vehicle towed and took photos of the metal.

Deputies went to the abandoned concrete plant and determined the metal had come from there, Reid had said. They discovered radiators, sluices and batteries removed from trucks and other miscellaneous metal missing from the yard, Reid had said.

Justice Michaela Murphy set Arris’ bail at $5,000 cash on Kennebec County charges; and $1,000 cash for the Franklin County charges, in case he is released from custody in Kennebec County.

She also ordered Arris not to go on the property of the USA Concrete Plant.

Assistant District Attorney Joshua Robbins told Justice Murphy that Arris has an extensive criminal record, including convictions of burglaries, violation of conditions of release, domestic violence, probation violations and violation of protective orders.

dperry@sunjournal.com

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