AUBURN — Bartolo Ford, 50, returned Friday to the courtroom where he was sentenced to 20 years for aggravated attempted murder of a local police officer.

This time he gave away property he allegedly never owned, and the state dropped the charges.

The whole exercise was meant to clean up the books on the man who, in 2008, rammed two police cruisers with a stolen dump truck and led police on a chase through two towns.

When the chase was over, police seized a long list of construction materials in Ford’s possession.

They included concrete well tile, sheets of wire mesh, steel rebar, plywood, sawhorses, a trailer, a sand spreader and a hydraulic plow system. The construction materials were owned by a variety of local companies, according to court documents.

Ford was charged with receiving stolen property.

Rather than try to convict Ford for the theft — potentially adding a concurrent sentence to Ford’s record, but no more days in prison —  the Androscoggin County District Attorney’s office chose to avoid the expense of another trial.

“He was convicted on all these other charges,” said Craig Turner, Androscoggin County’s deputy district attorney. “The items have all been returned to their owners.”

In return for the dropped charges, the arrangement with the court called for Ford to forfeit any claim to the property.

Ford appeared at Friday’s proceeding wearing an orange prison suit.

Of his 20-year sentence in the aggravated attempted murder charge, all but nine were suspended. He was also sentenced on six other counts related to the incident, including aggravated criminal mischief, reckless conduct, eluding an officer and theft by unauthorized taking. He was sentenced to between six months and two years in jail for each of those crimes, all to be served concurrently with the longer prison sentence. 

At his trial, Ford, a Gulf War veteran, said he was suffering a post-traumatic stress disorder flashback at the time of the incident. He argued that he had undergone a recent change in his prescription medication. He said he didn’t remember the incident.

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