FARMINGTON — A Jay man accused of burglarizing homes in Franklin County dating back to early June was ordered Monday held without bail on a charge of violating probation.
Jeromy C. Merchant, 31, formerly of Livermore Falls, was arrested on a charge of violation of probation on July 10.
He was charged Monday on six counts each of felony burglary and theft by unauthorized taking, one count of felony attempted burglary, and misdemeanor charges of possession of burglary tools and violation of conditions of release.
Judge Nancy Carlson also ordered Merchant to be held on $10,000 cash bail or $50,000 surety on the new charges.
According to court documents, Merchant is accused of committing three burglaries in June in Jay and one in Perkins Township. On July 10, he is accused of one burglary in each of Carthage and Weld and an attempted burglary in Weld.
Franklin County Sheriff's Department deputies arrested Merchant on the probation violation after they were called to an attempted burglary on July 10 on Center Hill Road in Weld. A resident who was home at the time scared Merchant off after he attempted to gain entrance to a residence with the use of a screwdriver, according to court documents.
Dixfield police detained Merchant on Route 142 in Carthage later in the day.
Merchant was convicted of aggravated criminal trespassing on July 16, 2010, and sentenced to serve five years in prison with all of the confinement time suspended. He served 10 days of the suspended portion in 2011. He still has nearly five years to serve if he is convicted of the probation violation.
Assistant District Attorney James Andrews requested no bail on the probation violation and $25,000 cash.
Andrews said “Mr. Merchant has a lengthy felony record.” Among his convictions are burglary in 2001, 2003 and 2006, he said.
“Mr. Merchant has five years hanging over his head” in relation to the aggravated criminal trespassing charge in 2010, Andrews said.
In the new charges he entered approximately 10 homes, while out on bail in an unrelated case, and sold and pawned thousands of dollars in items taken from them, he said.
Attorney Christopher Berryment requested on Merchant's behalf that $2,500 cash bail or a $50,000 piece of real estate be set as bail for the probation violation and the new charges. There are some mental health issues, he said.
Merchant cooperated with police and did a drive-around with them to point out some places he entered, Berryment said.
Merchant is self-employed and has been living in Jay for the last nine months, he said.
Both the state and Berryment have requested a mental evaluation be done, which Carlson agreed to Monday.
Merchant addressed the court himself.
“I'm asking the court to help me get this mental evaluation,” Merchant said. “I'm not asking for leniency. I'm asking for help.”
Merchant was also ordered by the court to not possess or use illegal drugs or alcohol, to not return to the residences he is accused of burglarizing and to have no contact with victims.
In a separate case, Merchant was charged with theft on July 11 by Livermore Falls Police pertaining to about $1,500 worth of jewelry and cash being taken from a resident earlier in the month.
Wilton police have also charged Merchant by summons on two counts of burglary in that town.