PARIS — A man who admitted to taking part in a series of burglaries and thefts in central Oxford County last summer was sentenced to serve three months Thursday.

Nicholas D. Haskell, 23, formerly of High Street in Peru, pleaded guilty to three counts of burglary and two counts of theft in Oxford County Superior Court. He also admitted to violating his probation stemming from an earlier conviction of burglary, theft and criminal mischief.

 “I understand what I did last year was wrong, and I’m all about making it right,” he told Justice Robert Clifford. “I feel like I’m a different person.”

Clifford said he was “impressed with Mr. Haskell’s rehabilitation,” but
said he did not want his sentence to diminish the severity of the
crimes. He sentenced him to three months in jail to run concurrent to a sentence of three years, all but three months suspended. He also sentenced him to a consecutive five-year prison sentence, fully suspended, on charges related to a separate burglary. Haskell will serve a total of four years of probation, during which time he must not have contact with his co-defendants, refrain from using illegal drugs, and pay a total of $14,600 in restitution.

Haskell was indicted in December on two counts of burglary, five counts of theft, and one count of criminal mischief in Canton, Byron, Sumner and Peru in June and July of 2008. He was also charged with burglary, two counts of theft, and one count of criminal mischief in a separate burglary in Rumford.

Also charged are Shawn A. Arsenault, of Peru; Jessica Gill, of Peru; K.C. Moro, of Dixfield; and Matthew Mosciollo, of Canton. The four, all 21, are accused of burglarizing and vandalizing dozens of camps in Byron, Woodstock, Sumner, Canton and Peru between June 14 and July 6. They are also accused of setting fire to one camp belonging to a Rhode Island couple.

Beauchesne asked that Haskell serve six months in jail. Defense attorney Ron Hoffman requested that Haskell be given a completely suspended sentence.

Hoffman said Haskell was using cocaine at the time of the crimes, but has stopped. He also said Haskell is employed in Virginia and making regular restitution payments.

“I think Mr. Haskell really deserves a second chance,” he said. “I think he was probably the least culpable.”

Haskell’s mother and grandmother spoke on his behalf, along with Peru camp owner Lawrence Hanson. According to court documents, Hanson had car batteries, a radiator, a tow chain, and a briefcase stolen from the residence.

“My observation of this situation is that Nicholas is a young man who took a wrong turn. We’ve all taken wrong turns,”  Hanson said. “I personally forgive him for what he’s done.”

According to court documents, Haskell will pay $10,000 in restitution to the owners of the camps he admitted to burglarizing. He will also pay $3,600 to the owner of the Rumford residence, where tires, tools, propane tanks and a DVD player were among the items taken.

Haskell will also pay the $1,000 in restitution remaining from a 2006 conviction. In that case, Haskell admitted to breaking into a Mobil station and stealing cash. He was sentenced to serve a fully suspended 18-month sentence with two years of probation and pay $4,400 in restitution.

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