APRIL 14, 1986
PERCY SARGENT SAYS MIKE WANTED
NOTHING TO DO WITH ARM ROBBERIES
Richard Sargent recorded a phone conversation he had with his brother
Percy Sargent while
Percy was incarcerated at Maine State Prison.
Richard: Percy, let’s go back and talk
about what we did today at state prison. Let’s talk about before the
fire. Ah, was Lionel down there before the fire, the day before the
Percy: A day or two. I‘m not sure which.
Richard: What did you hear them talking about during some of the
Percy: Well they were
robbing drug dealers in town. Cochran wasn’t much for it. He kept telling me that he didn’t want any part of it.
That was about it. They didn’t seem to say too much to me. They knew I
was going to jail.
Richard: Did they try and push him or anything?
Percy: No, not really.
Not while I was there, but I guess they’d talked to him quite a bit
after I’d left cause Cochran told me that he just didn’t want no part of
it. He didn’t like the idea. He just wanted to get out the State of
Maine. [Yet Assistant Attorney General Thomas Goodwin told the news that
Mike "may have been involved in some plans to steal quantities of case
and drugs from other narcotics dealers."]
Richard: Was Cochran and Cormier friendly?
Percy: Not really.
Cochran I think he kind of felt intimidated by him.
Richard: Okay, so let’s talk about the night you were arrested, the
night of the fire. You left there. And Paul was there and Cochran. Was
anyone else there when you left?
Percy: Cochran’s girlfriend.
Richard: Was there any gas cans around that camp”
Percy: Yeah, there
was, oh, geez, there must have been three of them anyways around there.
Richard: So after the fire what happened? Did you go back to the camp
Percy: Yeah, I went back. Lionel.
Richard: How’d you get him to go back to the camp?
Percy: I called him
up and asked him if he’d take me to Augusta after I got out of jail
that day (February 21, 1981) so he said sure. He came over and picked me
up [Cormier and Pollard picked Percy up at the jail on the 21st and took him to East
Corinth with them.] and I told him I wanted to go down to Lucerne, you know, to the camp.
I wanted to see what was left, you know, if it was just scorched a
little or if it burned to the ground or whatever.
Richard: Who was there?
Percy: The Fire Marshall. [February 24, 1981]
Richard: Was he uptight or anything, did he seem?
Percy: Oh yeah, he was uptight. He didn’t want to give his name, you know. But right away I
told the Marshall my name. The Marshall asked me a few questions, why I
was down there and I told him that I’d lived there
worked there sometimes. He asked Lionel his name and Lionel told him. He
wasn’t crazy about it.
Richard: At that point you didn’t know if Cochran was still around or
had burnt up in the fire?
Percy: No I didn’t
know if he was in there or not. I suspected it a little bit cause
his girlfriend, Cochran’s girlfriend had come down to jail the second
day I was in there, the second day or third day I was in there and asked
me if I knew where Michael was and I said I didn’t know – he must be
Richard: When did you see Lionel again?
Percy: Well he come
when Paul had come down to get me down to Augusta to take Paul to Rhode
Island. [Not true. He was in East Corinth hiding in the woods with
Pollard when the police came there. They left for Rhode Island from East
Richard: What was the purpose of that?
Percy: There was so
much heat on him that Lionel just wanted to get him right out of town,
there was so much heat on him. He also wanted to talk to him about that
fire and by that time they found Cochran’s body.
Richard: …how did you feel going down there? What was their talk?
Percy: Cormier kept
getting a little ugly at Paul. One thing that was real weird was that
they were talking and Cormier said, “you know if you hadn’t called
me up and hauled me out there nothing would have happened” …What
I understood [is] that Cormier had been there and talked to Cochran and
Cochran was trying to get him to take him down out of the camp
too and he wouldn’t say too much about it. But he was down there I
guess, before the fire.
… He told Paul not to worry about it
because he had a good alibi from Paul and everything. … but
someone went down there cause Cormier was down there. … It was just that Lionel had come down there
to pick him up and Cochran wanted to go with them. Cochran went no place
Richard: And what was said between you and Lionel on the way [back]?
Percy: Not much
really, just that Cormier was real glad to get Paul the f*** out of
Maine, you know, but I guess he didn’t stay down there too long.
Richard: Was you ever out to Lionel’s house between the time that the
police came out there, out to Lionel’s? And Paul was staying and hid in
the woods that day because he didn’t want to talk to the cops?
Percy: Oh yeah, yeah,
I think that, there was something that went on out there and, geez, I’m
not sure. I think the cops were out there and Lionel told them
something and they took off. … I can’t remember exactly what happened,
but Cormier had gotten rid of the state cop. [Percy was hiding in the woods
Richard: Who did most of the talking going down to Rhode Island?
Percy: There wasn’t
much. Lionel was ugly. …Lionel cuffed (Paul) a couple of times He got
ugly at him for getting him…. Lionel thought it was his fault that
he had gotten in all of this mess.
He figured if he hadn’t have called
Lionel up that night Lionel would have never came out there and, you
and Lionel kept going, “keep your f****** mouth shut. Don’t talk to God
or anybody else”. He just told him to stay low there and to lay low down
there and he’d get in touch with him. …When
I put it together that Lionel was there too and the fire hadn’t even
started yet so what kind…. Paul must have called Lionel up cause
him and Mike had heard that bust on the police scanner radio there and
Paul called Lionel up to tell him to get him the f*** out of there and
he came there. [Percy was the one who called Cormier not Pollard]
Richard: Do you think that Cormier feared what Cochran knew about him?
Percy: Oh yeah, yeah. Cause I think immediately they thought that
Cochran had set them up. For setting
me or to try to get out of that rap
that he was in on. It’s just a dog eat dog, you know, but Cochran
(inaudible). I think something happened there.
Richard: Okay Percy, I’m gonna shut the tape off. Okay Percy, I want to ask you something about Paul’s weapon that
he had out there. It was a what? .357?
Richard: Did you see Paul’s gun there?
Percy: Oh yeah, he
brought it out there when he came. There was a shoulder harness. I asked
him about it on the way down to Rhode Island I think it was. I said,
“what did you ever do with that gun, Paul” cause it was a real nice gun
and he says, “I lost it in the fire”.
[That is not true because
during Cormier's trial in 1986 attorney Martha Harris asked Pollard about his gun and he said he
still had it during the March 1981 armed robbery on Charles Dolan, one
month after they killed Mike.