AUBURN – Two Lisbon men pleaded guilty to felonies Thursday in connection with a prank that got out of hand in a Wal-Mart parking lot.

The pair admitted to accidentally ramming a car with a shopping cart weighed down with granite blocks in the parking lot at Wal-Mart on the night of Oct. 30.

Peter Donovan, 19, and Derick L. Bolton, 18, both of Lisbon, waived their rights to remain silent, legal counsel and trials in Androscoggin County Superior Court.

They pleaded guilty to aggravated criminal mischief, a class C felony and to criminal mischief, a class D misdemeanor.

Assistant District Attorney Craig Turner said the state agreed it would drop the felony charges after a year if the two defendants paid monthly restitution and steered clear of the law. The misdemeanor charge would stand and they would pay a fine.

Donovan said he drove a pickup truck while Bolton held onto the shopping cart as they sped across the parking lot. When Bolton let go of the cart, it slammed into the side of a car in the lot.

The cart smashed windows and dented the passenger side of the car, a Pontiac Grand Am, causing more than $4,000 in damage.

Aided by store personnel who provided the license plate number for the truck, police tracked the pair to their homes, Turner said. The incident also was captured on store security cameras.

A woman who was in the car at the time was not injured, Turner said.

Donovan and Bolton agreed to pay restitution of $2,132.17 apiece and stay out of trouble. If they run afoul of the law again within a year, Turner said his office would nullify the agreement and press forward with the felony charges to which the two have already pleaded guilty. Turner said they have no prior criminal records.

Donovan said he talked to his brother, a corporate attorney in Florida, for legal advice. Bolton didn’t consult with a lawyer, he said.

Asked by the judge how he became involved in the activity, Donovan described the stunt, then added, “Things went wrong.”

Asked by the judge what possessed him to perform the prank, Bolton said, “It’s hard to say.” Watching the cart race across the lot was “pretty exciting,” he said.

Justice Thomas Delahanty II called the mens’ actions “foolish” and told the two they were fortunate.

“You are extremely lucky that no one was hurt,” he said.

Both men are members of the Maine Army National Guard.

An acting legal representative at the Guard said Thursday the legal standing of Donovan and Bolton in the civilian community would likely be reviewed soon by Guard authorities, who also would review their standing within the military. They would make a recommendation to Adjutant Gen. John Libby, who would take formal action, if any.

If no action is taken, Maj. Robert Crowley said the guard likely would conduct a follow-up review after a year.


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