August 04, 2020

Man, 23, pleads guilty in Humane Society heist

The second of two men accused of breaking into the Bangor Humane Society last fall has admitted to his involvement.

Jeffrey Newell, 23, of Waterville pleaded guilty Monday in Penobscot County Superior Court, to burglary, a Class C offense punishable by up to five years in prison. Dismissed in a plea agreement were companion misdemeanor charges of theft and criminal mischief.

At the same time, Newell also pleaded guilty to theft by deception in an unrelated bad-check scam that also involved his partner in the Humane Society break-in and a third man. That is a Class B offense that carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

Newell and Brian Witham of Winslow entered the Humane Society on Sept. 23, 1992, took some cash and left open a refrigerator containing vaccines. Witham’s wife implicated the pair in both that burglary and another one about two years ago at the Waterville Humane Society.

In the check scheme, the pair took checks belonging to John Icenogle, who also was charged, and cashing about $5,000 worth of checks in a five-day period last July at Shop ‘n Save supermarkets around the state. Icenogle has denied knowledge of the scam, but also was charged.

Witham pleaded guilty in March, just after Newell was indicted, in connection with the Bangor Humane Society case and the check scheme.

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