AUBURN — A Minot man charged with robbing a Poland man at his home in October 2017 pleaded guilty Tuesday to lesser related charges.

Isaiah Strong-Gassama, 20, appeared in Androscoggin County Superior Court dressed in a tan jail suit, handcuffed and shackled.

He pleaded guilty to felony aggravated criminal trespass, a charge punishable by up to five years in prison, and receiving stolen property, a misdemeanor that carries a maximum sentence of up to six months in jail.

Strong-Gassama will not be sentenced on those charges for two years. During that time, he must not have any illegal drugs or marijuana. He must perform 150 hours of community service, be enrolled in school or be employed and must not have any contact with four co-defendants or the victim. If called to testify against one of his co-defendants at trial, he must be truthful, according to the plea terms.

If he meets those conditions, he may return to court in April 2020 and withdraw his plea to the felony. A judge would sentence him to six months in jail on the misdemeanor to which he pleaded and to a concurrent six months on an additional misdemeanor charge of criminal trespass, to which he would plead. Small-Gassama would be credited for the six months he has spent in jail awaiting the outcome of his robbery charge.

If he does not comply with the terms of the agreement, he would be sentenced by a judge to up to five years on the felony to which he pleaded, as well as the misdemeanor charge.

Assistant District Attorney Claire Andrews said her office agreed to the lenient terms because Strong-Gassama wasn’t the one who held the gun in the robbery, had told the truth about what happened and had no prior criminal record.

The robbery charge against him that carried a 30-year maximum sentence was dismissed by the District Attorney’s Office.

While in the courtroom, Strong-Gassama was sentenced to 30 days in jail on unrelated charges stemming from a Sept. 29 motor vehicle stop.

Another defendant in the Poland robbery, Jordin Small, 19, of Auburn was in the same courtroom Tuesday for a conference with prosecutors, but failed to reach agreement on a plea and is expected to be scheduled for trial.

Had Strong-Gassama’s robbery case gone to trial, Andrews said an Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office detective would have testified that his office investigated a reported robbery at the Empire Road home of then-19-year-old Devon Bailey who called 911.

Four men and a woman had come to his home in a car and accused him of slashing tires on vehicles in the Poland and Minot area, he told deputies.

After entering the home, Small and two other men were standing in the kitchen when Small pulled a silver .357-caliber revolver from his waistband and pointed it at the teen, one of the men told the detective. Strong-Gassama had stood behind the victim.

Small told the teen, “You’d better not be lying or this could get messy.”

Strong-Gassama took the phone of the victim, who tried to show on his phone that he was telling the truth. The teen denied slashing any tires.

Strong-Gassama and two co-defendants went into the basement in search of marijuana. One of them took a jar of marijuana and pipes before leaving the home. Small took a Sony PlayStation 3, one of the men told authorities. The teen’s iPhone also was taken by someone in the group.

All items except the cellphone were later recovered.

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Isaiah Strong-Gassama


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