October 10, 2013

Men who climbed University of Maine at Farmington buildings plead guilty, get deal

By Rachel Ohm
Staff Writer

FARMINGTON — The charges against two men who climbed onto a building at the University of Maine at Farmington last month could be dismissed if they pay restitution within one year.

Devon Pease, 21, of Farmington, and Joshua Farthing, 25, of Panama City, Fla., neither of whom are students at the university, each pleaded guilty to one charge of criminal mischief and criminal trespassing in Franklin County Court on Wednesday.

The men were spotted on the roof on Sept. 3, but they ignored orders to get down and instead ran onto the roof of an attached building. The men were caught when Pease lost his grip and fell 40 feet to the pavement. The Farmington Fire Department was called to help Farthing down using a ladder truck. 

Their pleas were part of an agreement with prosecutors to drop the charges if the men adhere to conditions outlined in court Wednesday, said Assistant District Attorney Joshua Robins.

He said that such agreements are often used to resolve cases in which defendants have little to no criminal history. 

Pease and Farthing are not allowed to posses alcohol or illegal drugs and are subject to random search and testing by law enforcement, according to court documents. They also are not allowed on university property.

They are required to pay $919 in restitution to be divided between the university and the Fire Department by Sept. 30.

If the men do not pay the restitution or do not comply with the conditions of their release, they are subject to sentencing. Criminal trespassing is a class E misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in prison and a $1,000 fine. Criminal mischief is a class D misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and a $2,000 fine.

The men damaged university property, including a metal drainage pipe, an exterior light and a metal ladder during their climb, according to court records. Pease, who was severely injured during his fall, appeared in court Wednesday, said Robbins. Details on his condition were not available and he did not return a call for comment.

Both men are scheduled to return to court on Oct. 17, 2014.

Rachel Ohm —  612-2368

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