JUNE 30, 2005


PORTLAND – One of Maine’s most violent career criminals was sentenced Tuesday to more than 34 years in prison – a virtual life sentence because of his health problems.

Lionel Cormier, 52, formerly of Boston, was sentenced for robbing an Orland couple of narcotics in March 2003. He used stolen guns and carried them and the drugs over state lines into Massachusetts. [Owen and Paul Pollard transported stolen shotguns, rifles and dynamite over three state lines into Maine and with the assistance of his Attorney Marvin Glazier they were dumped at the Bangor PD with the approval of District Attorney David Cox. No charges were ever filed against the Pollard’s.] That action, plus his designation as a career criminal, elevated the charges against Cormier.

 U.S. District Judge George V. Singal, sitting in U.S. District Court, had harsh words for the defendant, who continued to appear arrogant and defiant in the courtroom during the sentence hearing.  “You are a predator, Mr. Cormier,” Singal said, in handing down the sentence of 411 months. “You have lived a life of crime from your youth and you will no doubt die in prison. “Certain individuals in our society need to be walled away in order to protect the public. You are one of those individuals,” Singal said.

Cormier is in questionable health and is undergoing dialysis three times a week. Singal noted that the sentence he imposed on the defendant may be ended by Cormier’s health problems before it is completed.

Cormier’s attorney, Robert Napolitano of Portland, immediately filed an appeal of the sentence. Napolitano had asked Singal to apply a sentence of five to seven years. The sentencing concludes a career of violent crime that began more than 30 years ago. Cormier’s convictions range from kidnapping to robbery and include acts such as cutting off the ear of one East Corinth victim and bragging that he had tied another victim to a toilet and burned the house down around him.

 But it was the robbery in March 2003 of the Orland couple that placed Cormier in federal court. He and three other men robbed the Orland couple of OxyContin and other prescription drugs.

 In asking Singal to apply the maximum sentence, Assistant U.S. Attorney Gail Malone said Cormier had lived a life of crime by instilling fear in others. When he tried to rob one home, she said, he beat a dog nearly to death with a golf club because it barked. Malone said Cormier threatened a cohort that he would shoot the man’s grandmother if he snitched.

Malone said Cormier also bragged to others that he had killed Micheal Cochran in 1981 in Dedham, a murder for which he and others were acquitted but has never been solved [This is erroneous information the State of Maine never contacted Cormier or even questioned him about Mike’s murder.].

 “He adopted a ruthless style that sets him apart from other armed robbers,” Malone said. Days after being released in the fall of 2002 from the Maine State Prison, where he served 16 years for armed robbery, Cormier was back to his old ways and seeking out old accomplices, she said. “He’ll never respect the law, and no sentence would deter him from future violent conduct,” Malone said. “Lionel Cormier has been throwing his weight around for 30 years.”

 Referring to Cormier’s future dialysis treatment in a federal prison, Malone said, “The irony is the U.S. citizens will provide him with the best-quality health care possible, health care that millions of them cannot afford.”

 Responding to Malone, Cormier stood in a yellow prison suit and bright orange sneakers. Cormier’s head was shaved bald, and he sported a large, bushy mustache. “It’s hard to top Miss Malone,” Cormier said, accusing her of “clouding the water” by bringing up the Cochran murder.I’ve been in jail all my life,” he told the judge. “You think I need the government to throw their weight on me? That’s ludicrous. Just save a spot in the cemetery for me.”

 Lee Cochran of Bangor, mother of murder victim Micheal Cochran, was in the courtroom Tuesday to watch the Cormier sentencing. She said she was glad he would spend his life behind bars but [knows] he killed her son and would like to see him confess. She said state police [Detective Gerald Coleman] continue[s] to investigate leads in her son’s death.

Correcting the record: This story was published on June 30, 2005 on Page A2 in all editions of the Bangor Daily News A story on Page B1 in Wednesday's editions on the sentencing of Lionel Cormier in U.S. District Court in Portland incorrectly reported that Cormier had been acquitted of murder charges in the 1981 killing of Micheal Cochran in Dedham. Cormier never was charged with or acquitted in that murder [never interviewed by Maine State Police homicide detectives.]