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Randolph Man Charged in Robberies Backs Out of Plea Deal

  • Brian Aubuchon listens during a court hearing in Windsor District Court yesterday. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck)

    Brian Aubuchon listens during a court hearing in Windsor District Court yesterday. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Brian Aubuchon listens during a court hearing in Windsor District Court yesterday. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck)

    Brian Aubuchon listens during a court hearing in Windsor District Court yesterday. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Brian Aubuchon listens during a court hearing in Windsor District Court yesterday. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck)
  • Brian Aubuchon listens during a court hearing in Windsor District Court yesterday. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck)

A Randolph man facing four charges, including last year’s robbery of the Mascoma Savings Bank in Hartland, backed out of a plea agreement yesterday and will instead fight the charges in court.

Brian Aubuchon, 36, was charged with robbing two convenience stores in Windham and Washington counties as well as fleeing from furlough supervision and robbing the bank in Hartland. His attorney, William Cobb of Hyde Park, Vt., declined to comment, citing the “sensitivity of the attorney-client relationship.”

“It was not what the state expected was going to happen,” said Windsor County State’s Attorney Robert Sand, adding that it wasn’t the first time someone has backed out of a plea deal at the last minute. “I arrived at court today believing we were going to have a change of plea and sentencing.”

Had he plead guilty, Aubuchon would have received a maximum sentence of 30 years in connection with the four felony charges based on events that allegedly occurred during April and May of 2011.

Instead, there will be a final pre-trial conference on Jan. 8, during which Sand said Aubuchon’s escape charge would be prepared for trial. According to Sand, Aubuchon will likely have to answer to charges separately in Windsor County, Windham County and Washington County.

Four police affidavits give the following accounts:

In mid-April of 2011, Aubuchon allegedly didn’t check in with Douglas Hayden, his parole officer, in White River Junction, therefore violating the terms of his furlough. The furlough followed his conviction on a charge of robbery in Braintree, Vt., the year before.

“Mr. Aubuchon has failed to report to this office,” Hayden wrote in an affidavit signed on April 19, 2011, “and his whereabouts are currently unknown.”

At about 7 p.m. on May 1, Aubuchon allegedly stole $300 out of a cash register at a Shell station in Brattleboro, reaching into the open register while receiving change for a grape-flavored Swisher Sweet cigar. About three and a half hours later, Maplewood Convenience Store in Berlin, Vt., Aubuchon’s hometown was robbed as well. It was not clear how much was stolen. Descriptions of the suspect from cashiers in both stores matched, the affidavit states.

Then, during the afternoon of May 9, Aubuchon allegedly took $5,500 from the Mascoma Savings Bank in Hartland. The teller, Kevin Fordham, told police that he knew Aubuchon on a first-name basis due to Aubuchon’s visits to the hair salon owned by Fordham’s mother.

According to court records, Aubuchon approached the counter with an “aggressive demeanor,” but changed it when Fordham recognized him.

“I have a gun,” Aubuchon calmly said, according to a police affidavit. “Give me the money. I will shoot. I want large bills first.”

He did not reveal a gun, records show. After Fordham emptied the contents of two drawers, Aubuchon exited the bank through the front door, according to court records. Fordham described Aubuchon based partly on the distinctive tattoo of a skull on the back of his head. When Hayden, Aubuchon’s supervising officer, watched the surveillance footage, he too identified Aubuchon.

An arrest warrant was filed that day, and Aubuchon was arrested in Springfield, Mass., about 100 miles away.

If Aubuchon had taken the plea deal, his new prison term would have been served after the completion of his current stint at the Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield, Vt. He is currently serving a maximum of three years there in connection with the 2010 Braintree, Vt. robbery.

Besides the felony conviction that led to his current incarceration — Aubuchon has been convicted of three misdemeanors, including a possession of marijuana charge in 1998 that led to several months in prison and an attempt to elude an officer charge later that year that led to slightly more than a week in prison.

Jon Wolper can be reached at jwolper@vnews.com or 603-727-3248.