AUBURN — A Lewiston man who robbed a variety store in Lewiston in 2018 of $335 in cash, armed with an orange boxcutter, was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in prison. A judge suspended eight years of that sentence.

Jonathan Norman Thibodeau, 37, pleaded guilty to a robbery charge stemming from the case. Two lesser related charges were dismissed.

Deputy District Attorney James Andrews said Thibodeau had robbed Sabattus Street General Store (formerly Elizabeth Ann’s) at 415 Sabattus St. at 5:43 a.m. on Aug. 21, 2018.

Jonathan Thibodeau submitted photo

Cloaked in a hoodie, he demanded money of the clerk, showing her a boxcutter.

The clerk told police he had been in the store 10 minutes earlier, had left, then returned.

She said he told her “give me all the money. I am not playing.” She handed him the cash that was in the register.

Police viewed store surveillance video that had captured footage of the robbery, Andrews said.

The police detective noticed the suspect had a distinct limp, distinct shoes and tattoos.

Andrews said the detective was familiar with Thibodeau and his unique gait, aware that he has a prosthetic leg. Moreover, Thibodeau’s tattoos were consistent with those displayed by the suspect in the video footage, the detective concluded.

Thibodeau had been on probation at the time and was taken into custody.

Shown a photographic lineup including Thibodeau, the clerk “immediately identified him” as the person who had robbed the store, Andrews said.

In addition to the robbery charge, Androscoggin County Superior Court Justice Valerie Stanfill sentenced Thibodeau on two counts of assault that occurred at different times — one in May and one in June 2019 — at Androscoggin County Jail against two different inmates.

Thibodeau, who had been on probation for an earlier robbery, admitted he violated terms of his probation.

He was sentenced Tuesday to serve the remaining portion of his earlier robbery conviction for which he had been sentenced to 12 years, but had only been required to serve half of that sentence behind bars.

The judge ordered that that term of incarceration must be completed in addition to the two years Thibodeau must serve for the Sabattus Street store robbery, totaling nearly eight years.

He had also served three months in jail that was subtracted from his total.

Justice Stanfill ordered him to pay $335 in restitution to the store as well as $2,299 to be paid to Androscoggin County for medical bills of one of the inmates assaulted by Thibodeau. Medical bills incurred by the county for the other inmate assaulted totaled $21,073, Andrews said, but the judge instead ordered restitution in the amount of $2,300 in the case involving that victim.

Defense attorney James Howaniec argued his client doesn’t have any ability to pay the restitution sought by prosecutors. Having endured a lifetime of trauma, Thibodeau lost his leg in as hunting accident.

After that incident, he became “heavily, heavily addicted to drugs, starting with prescription opioids, then moving to heroin.” He’s spent a large part of his adult life behind bars, Howaniec said, “which obviously has interfered with his ability to earn income.”

Howaniec said: “When he’s not addicted to drugs, he’s a very intelligent, interesting, likable individual.”

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