BRISTOL - A city man accused of stealing thousands of dollars worth of commercial air conditioning parts from a local business and violating his probation has rejected a plea deal offered by state prosecutors.
Michael Gorneau, 52, of 66 Emmett St., appeared Thursday in Bristol Superior Court, where his attorney asked that his case be marked down for a judicial pretrial hearing on Jan. 22. During that hearing, Gorneau’s lawyer will try to convince a judge to offer a better plea bargain than those that were offered by the prosecutor handling the case.
Gorneau on Thursday rejected two potential deals. One would have sent him to prison for five years and the other would have included three years in prison, followed by four years of special parole.
Police allege Gorneau - who is being held on $20,000 bond - caused $15,000 worth of damage to two AC units at a machine shop on Riverside Avenue in the overnight hours May 8, as the units were beyond repair and needed to be replaced, according to the arrest warrant. The document said he took a number of metal parts - the precise value of which could not be determined - and sold them to a local scrap yard.
Gorneau is facing felony charges of second-degree larceny and two counts of first-degree criminal mischief. He has also been charged with one count of violation of probation - which stems from a prior larceny conviction.
According to the warrant, a business owner from across the street noticed that the two AC units at the machine shop had been tampered with. The warrant said that business owner filed a similar complaint in the days before the machine shop crime was committed.
During the investigation, police found that Gorneau had sold a number of metal parts to a local scrap yard after the theft. Additionally, the warrant said, he has previously been arrested in multiple other thefts, including one involving an air conditioning unit.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Justin Muszynski on Twitter@muszynskiBP.