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‘Armed career criminal’ begins 15 -year prison term

Union Leader Correspondent

November 24. 2013 8:19PM
Ronald Bauer, 49, of Somersworth pleaded guilty Thursday to an armed robbery in Portsmouth, one of a string of heists that earned him a status as an armed career criminal by the state. (JAMES A. KIMBLE PHOTO)

BRENTWOOD — A New Hampshire man who robbed gas stations in Somersworth and Portsmouth at gunpoint began serving a minimum 15-year sentence Thursday for being an armed career criminal.

Ronald Bauer, 49, pleaded guilty in Rockingham County Superior Court to armed robbery and being a felon in possession of a deadly weapon for the Jan. 12 robbery of a Mobil On the Run gas station on Islington Street in Portsmouth.

Bauer pointed a .45-caliber handgun at a male clerk, demanding cash from the register.

Bauer’s sentence added five to 20 years in state prison to another 10-year sentence in connection with the armed robbery of an Irving Gas station in Somersworth.

The heists were part of a string of robberies in two New Hampshire counties and during a home invasion in Lebanon, Maine, between Dec. 28 and Jan. 12. Bauer is facing aggravated assault charges in Maine for allegedly shooting a homeowner while burglarizing his home on Jan. 8.

“It seems like you are going to be institutionalized for the rest of your life,” Judge Marguerite Wageling told Bauer just after accepting his plea Thursday.

Wageling told Bauer it was sad that he decided to make such poor choices in his life.

“You’re absolutely right,” Bauer responded.

Bauer, of Somersworth, pleaded guilty earlier this month in Strafford County Superior Court to armed robbery and to being an armed career criminal, a charge that prosecutors can bring by compiling his previous offenses.

Assistant County Attorney Karen Springer said that Bauer has a history of convictions dating back to the early 1990s that included multiple burglary and robbery offenses.

Bauer also received a two- to four-year prison sentence on the weapons conviction in the Portsmouth case. That sentence will run concurrent to the armed robbery convictions. The Maine charges are still pending.

Wageling ordered Bauer to repay the Portsmouth gas station $261 in restitution and to undergo any treatment and counseling recommended by corrections officials.

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