WESTFIELD, Mass. (The Westfield News) – Westfield District Court Judge Philip Contant tried to convince a robbery suspect to get an attorney before proceeding with his case.
Eric J. Lemire appeared before Contant Friday afternoon after he was arrested for robbing the Cumberland Farms located at 69 Main Street half past midnight Friday morning.
“These are serious charges and with your prior record, I don’t know why you don’t want an attorney,” Contant kept telling Lemire who was behind lockup in the courtroom.
Lemire kept saying, “I did it!” and requested to be sentenced.
Attorney Kathleen Cavanaugh, who represented Lemire for his arraignment only, said, “I advised him not to speak.”
“I think something else is going on here,” she added.
The Commonwealth declined resolving the case on Friday because it wanted to contact the victim, Assistant District Attorney Magali Montes said.
Contant put in a not guilty plea for Lemire, 44, of Westfield, on the charges of unarmed robbery.
Lemire allegedly walked into the Cumberland Farms store, grabbed the cashier by the collar and pulled his head down to the counter, according to Westfield Police Capt. Michael McCabe.
Lemire took cash from the drawer and took off on foot. Police located Lemire a short time later, according to police logs.
When officers noticed a “bulge” in Lemire’s pocket, fearing it was a weapon, they searched him and found $317 in cash, Montes said.
Lemire then openly admitted to the robbery, according to McCabe.
Montes said Lemire has a long record for the same type of offenses including having served an 18-month sentence in the House of Correction a year ago.
Cavanaugh said Lemire is homeless and hasn’t been able to find a job. He has an eleventh grade education.
Lemire was held in lieu of $5,000 cash or surety. He is due back in court on January 11.
Staff Writer Christine Charnosky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org