AUBURN — A Jay man who robbed a convenience store in Greene last year was sentenced Thursday to five years in prison.

Thomas Mulkern, 30, apologized to his victims.

“I truly regret the choices that I have made. My mind is right,” he said, reading from a prepared statement.

Mulkern said he was a drug addict, but doesn’t want to be. “I want a better life,” he said. “I don’t want to do this anymore.”

Androscoggin County Superior Court Justice Daniel Billings told Mulkern that his lengthy criminal record, dating back to when he was a juvenile who escaped from detention, outweighed factors in his favor, such as his admission of the crime and showing remorse.

As an adult, Mulkern was convicted of roughly three dozen criminal charges since 2003, prosecutors said.

Assistant District Attorney Patricia Mador argued for a full five-year sentence, the cap agreed to by prosecutors and the defense in exchange for Mulkern’s plea.

His attorney, Richard Charest, argued for an 18-month sentence, saying his client was under the influence at the time he committed the crime, which involved no weapons or injuries.

The charge of Class B robbery carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

On a related theft charge, Mulkern was sentenced to four years, to be served at the same time. A 180-day sentence for violating condition of release also will be served at the time of the robbery sentence, Justice Billings said.

Mulkern’s brother, John, said he once suffered from addiction, but straightened out his life. He blamed himself for steering his brother down the wrong path and said all of his crimes are drug-related.

“He’s not a monster,” he said of his brother. “It’s a disease and he can fight it.”

The mother of Thomas Mulkern’s two young children told Billings that she didn’t want to see his children grow up without him. She also said she feared for his safety in state prison that houses prisoners against whom Mulkern has testified.

Billings said he was considering the safety of Greene residents who might fear they may one day walk into their rural convenience store and interrupt a robbery.

“This is the kind of crime that has an impact on the community as a whole,” he said. “It’s not simply a case that has an impact only on the victim who is the employee of the business.”

Although Mulkern didn’t use a weapon, he told the store clerk he was armed and threatened to harm her if she didn’t give him cash, Billings said.

He fled with more than $120, which he was ordered on Thursday to repay the Circle K store on Route 202. The money wasn’t recovered.

A clerk at the store called 911 to report a man wearing a white shirt over his face told her he had a weapon and would “really hurt her bad” if she didn’t do what he wanted, she told police, according to court records.

The clerk gave Mulkern cash from the register and he fled on foot toward a car in an adjacent parking lot, police said. That car had been driven in the direction of Lewiston. Police took tire and shoe impressions made in freshly fallen show.

Auburn police arrested Mulkern later that day on Turner Street after the car in which he was riding was pulled over for a traffic violation. Mulkern attempted to flee, then assaulted an officer, police said. A crack pipe was found on his seat. He was later identified as the person in a surveillance video from the store. DNA on clothing left at the scene of the robbery matched that of Mulkern.

Mulkern pleaded guilty to charges related to the later confrontation with police.

On charges of refusing to submit to arrest or detention and unlawful possession of scheduled drugs, he was sentenced to 364 days in jail to be served at the same time as 180-day sentence for violating condition of release.

Those sentences are to be served at the same time as the five-year term for robbery.

Justice Billings told Mulkern that while the robbery sentence was “serious and significant,” this is not a situation where you’re being locked up and the key’s being thrown away.”

Billings said Mulkern was a young man, who will be younger than 35 when he is released from prison.

“There is an opportunity to turn your life around as your brother suggested,” Billings said.

He urged Mulkern to take advantage of the substance abuse programs offered by the Maine Department of Corrections.

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