EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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October 2, 2012

Bank robber sentenced for hitting Windham officer

Getaway driver sentenced for striking Windham officer

BRENTWOOD — A former Epsom man faces 21 to 42 years in state prison after he was convicted yesterday of hitting a Windham police officer with a car following a bank robbery.

Clint Pickering, 27, was found guilty by a jury on eight of 10 charges in Rockingham Superior Court. He was already serving more than 11 years in prison for his role as the getaway driver in a heist at the Bank of New England in Windham on Sept. 18, 2009.

The jury deliberated for nearly three hours yesterday before convicting Pickering on three reckless conduct charges and single charges of second-degree assault, conduct after an accident and disobeying a police officer with serious bodily injury resulting. All six charges are felonies punishable by three and a half to seven years in prison.

Pickering was also convicted on two misdemeanor charges of disobeying a police officer, but found not guilty on two felony criminal threatening charges. The misdemeanors are each punishable by up to a year in jail.

Officer Jason Dzierlatka was out of work for more than two and half years after he was struck by the car. Dzierlatka, who fractured his foot and ankle, returned to the force in May, according to Windham police Capt. Mike Caron.

“For him and his family, it’s been a long ordeal,” Caron said of Dzierlatka. “They are happy justice has been served.”

Windham police were happy with the verdict yesterday as well, he said.

“I think on behalf of the Windham Police Department, we are very pleased,” Caron said.

Pickering had been sentenced previously, in July 2010, for his role as the getaway driver. At that time, U.S. District Court Judge Joseph DiClerico had ordered that Pickering serve 137 months in prison and pay $118,339 in restitution to Dzierlatka’s insurance company.

A second man, Patrick McKeen, also has been convicted in the bank robbery. McKeen, a self-proclaimed white supremacist, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in June 2010.

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