AUBURN — John Michaud Sr., who with his son tied up a Park Avenue homeowner at gunpoint and stole her SUV and motorcycle a year ago, was sentenced Wednesday to serve 10 years in prison.

Michaud, 50, of 61 Shawmut St. in Lewiston agreed to a robbery plea on the third morning of his jury trial in Androscoggin County Superior Court.

Justice MaryGay Kennedy sentenced Michaud to 15 years in prison, with five years suspended, followed by two years of probation.

During sentencing, Kennedy told Michaud: “Make no mistake. Your conduct is reprehensible.”

Tina Croteau, who was bound in her home as Michaud aimed a handgun at her, spoke to him in the courtroom Wednesday.

“You, John Michaud, came into my house and terrorized me,” she said, her voice quavering.


Croteau said she no longer feels safe at her house.

“You kept saying to me I came home at the wrong time. Well, I came home at the right time, and I stopped you from hurting anybody else,” she said. “You should have run out the door you broke into because everybody knows you can’t fix stupid.”

Asked by the judge whether he wanted to say anything, Michaud replied, “Naw, I’m good.”

Kennedy told him, “What you did at the time was devastating, and it continues to this day.”

On Oct. 12, 2017, Croteau came home for lunch. She saw Michaud and his son, John Michaud II, 19, of Auburn at her house. They were wearing masks.

While she was still in her car, one of them pointed a gun in her face and told her, “You came home at the wrong time.”


She was forced into her house, where her wrists and ankles were bound with duct tape.

“She thought: ‘How is it going to feel when they shoot me? Will it hurt?’ She believed she was going to die,” Kennedy said.

Before Michaud and his son fled in Croteau’s SUV and her husband’s motorcycle, they added duct tape and phone cable to her restraints, Kennedy said.

Croteau was able to use the hinges on a lawn chair to free one leg. She made her way out to the street. After several cars drove past her, two men stopped and called 911.

He brother arrived after searching for her, having thought she had been in a car accident because her cellphone had disconnected earlier during a call with her mother. She was crying and shaking, Kennedy said.

Police later found Croteau’s SUV, which had been set on fire. The charred remains of her Bible were in the back seat.


Kennedy asked Croteau not to think of herself as a victim.

“You are one of the bravest people I have ever encountered,” she said. “You are a superhero to me.”

Although prosecutors had little evidence from the interior of Croteau’s home to tie Michaud to the crime, they were able to put his son at the scene because of a shoe print left inside the house and found the father’s DNA on the stolen motorcycle. Surveillance video captured the older Michaud riding the motorcycle in Poland.

Michaud entered an Alford plea, meaning he would not contest the charge of robbery with a dangerous weapon, a felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison. He also had faced felony charges of burglary and theft. Those charges and two misdemeanors were dismissed.

Michaud also pleaded guilty Wednesday to two felony charges of receiving stolen property in Franklin County, each punishable by up to five years in prison. He was sentenced to two years on each charge, to be served at the same time he serves 10 years for robbing Croteau.

In addition, Michaud admitted to a probation violation for which he was sentenced to 18 months, also to be served at the same time.


Shortly after the October 2017 robbery, Michaud Sr., who has a lengthy criminal record, and his son fled the state, the father ending up in Illinois, the son in Florida. Both were brought back to Maine months later to face charges.

John Michaud II, who had no previous criminal record, pleaded guilty to robbery. In an agreement with prosecutors, he could be sentenced to 15 years in prison, but would only have to serve between five and eight, followed by four years of probation.

He has not been sentenced.

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John Michaud Sr., left, speaks with his lawyer, James Howaniec, during the first day of Michaud’s trial Monday at Androscoggin County Superior Court in Auburn. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

John Michaud Sr. appears Monday in Androscoggin County Superior Court during the first day of his trial in Auburn. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

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