Burglars had already stolen from the woman’s house once — and the next day, they were back again, according to police.
During the second burglary attempt in March 2015, the burglars’ plan to steal from an empty home hit a snag: The homeowner, 62-year-old Connie Loucks, was inside the home in Wells, Maine, according to state police. As she watched the burglars try to break in, she had a heart attack, police said.
Police found Loucks dead inside when they got to the scene.
Carlton Young, the 26-year-old burglar accused of scaring Loucks to death, pleaded guilty on Monday to manslaughter charges, the Portland Press Herald reports. A judge sentenced him to 10 years behind bars. He also pleaded guilty to a handful of theft and burglary charges.
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“This is an unimaginable tragedy for my family. Not a day goes by that we don’t think about how terrorized Connie felt that day,” Brian Loucks, the husband of the victim, said Monday as Young was sentenced, Seacoast Online reports. “I think the defendant is a coward and a punk and I hope his soul rots in hell.”
Young had been implicated in a string of burglaries in the towns of Alfred, Sanford and Wells around the time of the burglary that led to Loucks’ death, according to state police.
“It’s just an unimaginable tragedy,” Justice John O’Neil said in court Monday, Seacoast Online reports. “When you break into somebody’s house it’s a terrifying experience for the people inside, and even if you meant them no harm, there are consequences to your actions and these are the consequences.”
Young wasn’t acting alone: Three others helped in the burglaries, state police said (with at least one other burglar present at the incident that left Loucks dead.)
Young and the other three suspects were arrested March 25, 2015. The three other suspects had all been sentenced for the string of burglaries by the time Young was indicted in July 2017 on felony murder, burglary and manslaughter charges, state police said.
Loucks reported the first home burglary to police on March 21, 2015, after she noticed some jewelry missing, the Bangor Daily News reports. What had been stolen was worth about $10,000, her husband told police.
Only a few hours after reporting that theft, the burglars were back — and Loucks called police to alert them, the Daily News reports.
A police report said the burglars were banging against windows and doors at her home, telling her they were there for someone named “Billy,” according to the Daily News. Police said it was the burglars’ typical way of figuring out if residents were at home before their burglaries.
Just minutes after Loucks called police, Loucks’ daughter called 911 to say she’d been speaking with her mother over the phone about the suspected burglars, and that the line had suddenly gone dead, the Daily News reports. Soon two cops were at the home. When they saw Loucks unresponsive on the couch, they broke into the home themselves and tried — unsuccessfully — to revive her.
She was pronounced dead as soon as paramedics arrived.
Young had initially pleaded not guilty. Jury selection was set to begin on Monday before he switched his plea, WMTW reports.
Prosecutors charged Young with felony murder after he rejected a plea and sentencing on burglary charges that had been scheduled earlier, the Press Herald reports. More charges were added later, state police said.
The other three burglars faced only theft and burglary charges, Seacoast Online reports.