LANCASTER -- One of two Gorham men charged in connection with a crime spree that included stealing a motorcycle, damaging multiple all-terrain vehicles and using one to smash into buildings and fences, has pleaded guilty and was spared jail time by making immediate restitution.
Hunter G. Buteau, 21, of Jimtown Road, appeared Monday in Coos County Superior Court before Judge Peter Bornstein who, per an agreement with the Coos County Attorney’s office, accepted his guilty pleas and then imposed a sentence.
According to indictments handed up in November 2018 by the Coos County Grand Jury, Buteau, in some instances with or aided by Ian A. Zybas, 23, of Baker Lane in Milan, broke into Absolute PowerSports on Main Street in Gorham and took a 2003 Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
At Absolute PowerSports, in an attempt to access the motorcycle in a garage, Buteau, with or aided by Zybas, moved and damaged five off-road vehicles, one getting rammed into a garage door, according to the indictments.
Buteau was indicted on three felonies -- theft by unauthorized taking, burglary and three counts of criminal mischief.
He was separately indicted by the grand jury on two counts of misdemeanor criminal mischief -- for using an off-road Polaris utility vehicle to damage both a fence owned by the New Hampshire Bureau of Trails and a sign and gate owned by Pike Industries -- and misdemeanor resisting arrest or detention for fleeing from a Berlin police officer.
For damaging the Bureau of Trails’ fence and the Pike Industries sign and gate, and for resisting arrest, Buteau was sentenced on each charge to 12 months in the Coos County House of Corrections, all suspended for three years.
On the charge of ramming the garage door at Absolute PowerSports, Buteau was also sentenced to 12 months in the House of Corrections, but rather than suspending the sentence, Bornstein deferred it for one year.
Immediately after his sentencing, Buteau made restitution to Absolute PowerSports in the amount of $6,209.83. He also paid $1,605.50 to the Sentry Select Insurance Co. of Stevens Point, Wis.; $285.30 to the State of New Hampshire; and $704.91 to Pike Industries.
Coos Assistant County Attorney Scott Whitaker, in a May 1 revised-offer letter to Buteau’s lawyer, Joseph Garrison, said the state’s offer “may or may not reflect the offer Mr. Zybas will ultimately receive,” explaining that it was “due in part to the separate ways they (Buteau and Zybas) have conducted themselves during this process despite engaging in nearly identical conduct.”
The offer Buteau got, which included dropping or reducing several charges, “is made based on Mr. Buteau’s commitment to rehabilitation and your representation that he has his share of restitution,” wrote Whitaker.