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Homeless man pleads guilty to eating cake, setting off extinguishers in Littleton church and to robbing drug dealer in Plymouth

By JOHN KOZIOL
Union Leader Correspondent

September 13. 2018 11:14PM

Jacob Cohen appeared Wednesday in Grafton County Superior to plead guilty to criminal mischief and robbery charges. (John Koziol/Correspondent)



NORTH HAVERHILL — A homeless man pleaded guilty Wednesday to breaking into a Littleton church and eating a piece of cake in the kitchen before causing nearly $7,000 in damage to the church.

Jacob Cohen, 21, also pled guilty to robbing a drug dealer in Plymouth.

Cohen appeared in Grafton County Superior Court where, after hearing from Assistant County Attorney Viktoriya Kovalenko, Justice Peter Bornstein sentenced him on the charges which took place nearly 19 months and some 40 miles apart.

Kovalenko said that had the cases gone to trial, the state would have proved that on Oct. 31, 2015, Cohen entered the First Congregational Church in Littleton and ate a piece of an ice cream cake he found in the church’s kitchen before smearing the rest of the cake on the kitchen’s walls.

Kovalenko said Cohen discharged fire extinguishers in the church, causing damage estimated at $6,773.55. He later wrote an apology to the church, she said, adding the church did not oppose his recommended sentence of between 2.5 and 5 years in prison, with nine months suspended if he successfully completes both mental health and educational programs. He was also ordered to make restitution of $1,000 to the First Congregational Church and of $5,773.55 to its insurance company.

As to the robbery charge, Kovalenko said it stemmed from an incident on May 5, 2017, when Cohen and another man schemed to obtain the drug Gabapentin from a third man.

That man was lured to a hotel in Plymouth on the pretext of selling the drug to Cohen’s co-conspirator, who has since died, but instead the two attacked the victim, with Cohen using a rock to strike the victim from behind. After the attack, Cohen and his co-conspirator stole the Gabapentin from the victim and fled.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, Bornstein ordered Cohen to serve 12 months in the Grafton County House of Corrections on the robbery charge, with six months suspended for five years.

Currently serving a sentence out of Belknap County on an unspecified conviction, Cohen in November 2017 was indicted by the Belknap County Superior Court Grand Jury for his role, along with two other men, in crimes that took place in the Winona Road area of New Hampton.

Cohen was indicted on conspiracy to commit arson and nighttime burglary as well as burglary and two counts of criminal mischief.


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