CONCORD, N.H. – One of two brothers arrested last January in Lovell and Sweden, Maine, and charged in a string of New Hampshire bank robberies has signed a 14-page plea agreement in exchange for a shorter sentence. Otherwise, 25-year-old Avery Blodgett could have faced life in prison.

What remains unclear is whether Avery will testify against his big brother, 26-year-old Travis Blodgett, a report on the Concord Monitor’s Web site stated.

Avery was arrested at Travis’ home in Sweden, Maine, in January, but Travis was captured later in the yard of the New Suncook School in neighboring Lovell. Travis took troopers from the Maine State Police and FBI agents on a wild chase, which included a dash through the school where secretary Linda Dunlea saw him run by her office before she encountered a state trooper who asked her, “Which way did he go?” the superintendent of the school told the Sun Journal at the time.

Dunlea, who ordered a school lockdown, was commended for her fast action.

Travis Blodgett entered the school via the front door, the only one left unlocked during school hours.

The school where Travis was captured is about a mile from the home where Avery was arrested.

“Because of the very quick thinking of the school secretary upon seeing what the situation was, she did a level II condition lockdown,” SAD 72 Superintendent Gary MacDonald said at the time. More than 200 students in grades kindergarten to five were shut into classrooms and told to stay away from windows and doors.

“The kids and the staff did exactly as they had been instructed to do,” MacDonald said. Most of them didn’t know whether the incident was a drill or real until after it was over, but some watched the arrest from windows, he said.

The brothers, who grew up in New Hampshire, stand accused of stealing nearly $86,000 from a dozen banks in several New Hampshire cities including Bow, Loudon and Manchester over three months in 2005 and 2006.

It’s not clear from plea documents signed last week whether Avery Blodgett will testify against his brother in exchange for the reduced sentence, but prosecutors have agreed to drop one of the gun charges against him. He also has the option of backing out on the deal if a judge decides to impose a longer sentence.

Officers were trying to arrest the brothers at their home on Knights Hill Road in Sweden when Travis ran into the woods, hopped on a snowmobile and sped away, investigators said.

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