Franklin Countys First News

Second burglary suspect appears in court

Stephen Dingus, left, and James Dingus have been charged with burglary and associated charges, relating to an alleged home invasion in Chesterville.

Stephen Dingus, left, and James Dingus have been charged with burglary and associated charges, relating to an alleged home invasion in Chesterville.

FARMINGTON - A second man was charged in an alleged home invasion that occurred in Chesterville Monday morning.

Stephen Dingus, 31 of Augusta, was arrested Thursday afternoon in Augusta on a warrant filed in Franklin County Superior Court, alleging charges of burglary, a Class B felony, as well as misdemeanor criminal mischief and possession of burglary tools.

Also arrested, at a separate location, was James Dingus, also 31, who is Stephen Dingus' uncle. Both men were believed to be among those living at a residence on Gage Street. James Dingus has been charged with burglary, a Class B felony, and criminal threatening, a misdemeanor.

According to Sheriff Scott Nichols, dispatchers received an emergency call from a 17-year-old girl at 9:16 a.m. Monday morning, who said a man had broken into her home on Route 41 while she was in a bedroom. The man reportedly parked a maroon Chevrolet Lumina sedan out front and went to the mobile home's door. He knocked and then forced the door open with a tool and his shoulder.

After the man exited the residence, the teenager was able to look at his vehicle through a window and give a description to police. Other people, hearing the description over the scanner, called in with reports of a similar vehicle, eventually allowing Deputy Nicholas Zecher and Detective Ken Charles to zero in and track the car's location and get a license plate number. That number, police say, led them to Stephen Dingus.

An arrest warrant was issued for Dingus, who was also wanted on three warrants out of Kennebec County for unrelated crimes, according to law enforcement.

Today, James Dingus appeared in court for an initial appearance. Assistant District Attorney Joshua Robbins asked for $5,000 cash bail, terming the allegation as one of the most serious sorts of home invasions. Judge Nancy Carlson set bail at $5,000 cash or a Maine pre-trial services contract, with conditions to include no contact with Stephen Dingus or the victim named in the case, no use or possession of drugs, alcohol, weapons or burglary tools.

Defense attorney, Linda Sparks, in arguing for a reduced amount of bail, said that James Dingus had not allegedly entered the home but was reportedly, "associated, if anything."

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1 Responses »

  1. "Home Invasion", or Burglary of an Occupied Dwelling? Not to downplay the serious nature of the crime but only a $5,000.00 bond seems low for a "Home Invasion", a term which leads the reader to imagine a forcible entry, threatening of the occupants, and maybe a weapon involved which I guess didn't occur in this incident. Crime in our cities, towns, and states is bad enough without hypeing it up beyond what it is.

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