Spaulding has a dozen previous minor convictions on his record
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION - A Chester burglar will serve a total of 4-to-10 years in jail after he struck a plea bargain that saw several charges against him dropped or amended.
“I’m sorry. I do feel bad for what I did. I was badly into heroin for a while,” Nico Spaulding, 36, told Judge Timothy Tomasi at his sentencing hearing earlier this week.
Spaulding had been held without bail in pre-trial detention since last June when he was arrested shortly after he threw himself through the door of a residence in Cavendish on White’s Hill Road, which runs south from the Mack Moulding factory.
Homeowner Alex Turco called state police reporting that he’d just been awoken by a male voice outside his residence saying “Okay..one, two, three…” right before he heard “a large banging noise that shook the walls and glass in his house.”
Turco told troopers that he grabbed his hunting rifle and ran to his front door to find Spaulding standing in his mud room “looking surprised,” according to an affidavit filed with the court.
“What the hell are you doing?” Turco asked, to which Spaulding allegedly replied “I’m just trying to get scrap metal,” the affidavit explained.
Turco later told police he’d recognized Spaulding because the word “AMERICAN” is tattooed in large letters across Spaulding’s neck.
Turco said Spaulding had stopped by his house a year-and-a-half ago looking for scrap and since then he’d “seen him on the news” because of a previous arrest, the affidavit noted.
Vermont State Police Trooper Colin Shepley said Spaulding reportedly ran away and took off in a red pickup truck which was located a short time later in a driveway in Chester.
A subsequent search of Spaulding’s pickup “revealed a large amount of scrap metal in the truck as well as numerous power and hand tools in the cabin and bed of the truck,” Trooper Shepley wrote.
During Monday afternoon’s sentencing, another one of Spaulding’s victims, Richard Frank, had an advocate read a statement aloud that Frank had written in which he said that every day for over a year “I’ve asked myself why someone would take (away) someone else’s (ability) to earn a living.”
Frank said that Spaulding took approximate $2,800 worth of his carpentry tools, adding, “You most likely haven’t any idea what you even took or how to use them.”
“Some were specialized for certain jobs that made my life a bit easier in the course of my craft,” Frank wrote, saying “The quality of these are the big point for me. You just can’t buy the same quality today. I’m sure you were saying to yourself ‘He has insurance. It won’t bother him.’ Well you are wrong,” Frank continued. “I have been in business for over 30 years, never stole from anyone, paid my bill and taxes…and someone with no job but with a sickening habit stole from me.”
“Sadly Nic I’ve watched you for many years and you haven’t changed a lot to better yourself. I don’t think you’ll change. You’ve made this your life…it’s your choice. It’s all been up to you the whole time,” Frank concluded.
When it became his turn to address the judge, Spaulding, who spent 33 days last year at the Valley Vista treatment facility in Bradford, time that he will get credit for off his jail sentence, told the court, “Now that I’m straight I’m trying to better my situation. I also have a five-year-old daughter that I love dearly and I’m trying to get back to her.”
Judge Tomasi told Spaulding that while his sentence has a relatively large minimum jail term of four years, largely because the crimes occurred both in Windsor and Windham counties and each jurisdiction sentenced Spaulding to a consecutive 2-to-5 years, at some point he will nonetheless have an “opportunity to come back into the community at some point.”
The judge urged Spaulding to “turn the page” and “make yourself into someone your daughter will be able to look up to in the future.”
Nico Spaulding, 36, of Chester was sentenced this week to at least four years for thefts of tools, a dirt bike and scrap metal that he said he took from residences and businesses in a number of towns in order to support his heroin addiction
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