FARMINGTON — Two men pleaded guilty Thursday to robbing Tranten’s Too in Kingfield and getting away with about $800 on the evening of June 18, 2012.

Kaleb O. Bowring, 20, entered his guilty pleas to a felony robbery charge and a misdemeanor theft charge in a Farmington court. He admitted to being the one who went in the store and requested money.

Co-defendant Matthew Santamore, 22, of Vassalboro, pleaded guilty to the same charges. He also admitted to being the driver of the getaway vehicle.

If the case had gone to trial, Assistant District Attorney Joshua Robbins said testimony would have been heard that Bowring walked into Tranten’s Too at about 8 p.m. wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and a red bandana covering his face. He also had on white gloves.

A clerk would testify that Bowring put a camouflage bag on the counter and told her to empty the till, Robbins said.

Testimony also would show that a couple of local people saw a man fitting the description leave the building, and they went after him in a vehicle.
When they confronted Bowring, he pulled out a silver handgun and they backed off, he said.

The man who turned out to be Bowring got into another vehicle driven by Santamore and it drove off.

Franklin County Sheriff’s Department conducted an investigation and was later joined by the Maine State Police. Investigators received information and went to the Somerset County Jail in Madison to talk to Santamore. He was serving time on an unrelated charge and told investigators that he knew who had robbed the store and named Bowring, according to testimony. He also admitted to driving the getaway car.

Investigators would testify that Bowring denied everything at first, then said he was the driver and later admitted to robbing the store, Robbins said.

The handgun, which Bowring and Santamore told investigators was a pellet gun, was never found.

“I did it,” Bowring told the judge Thursday. “I deserve some form of punishment. I know I was wrong.”

Bowring’s attorney John Alsop said the state’s description of what happened was correct.

Bowring’s sentence hearing will be held on Dec. 18.

Santamore, who is represented by Thomas Carey, will have a sentence hearing on Nov. 14.

The recommended sentence for both men on the robbery conviction is eight years with all but two years suspended and four years probation, Robbins said.

The recommendation on the theft conviction is 364 days to run concurrent to the robbery sentence, he said.

Bowring and Santamore would also have to pay total restitution of $800 to Tranten’s, Robbins said.

Bowring is on probation on a case out of Skowhegan, Alsop said. He is also on a pretrial agreement on the Franklin County case, he said.

Santamore is currently in jail in connection to another case.

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