BANGOR – A life-long criminal who last year severely beat up a vulnerable former military servicemember in Bangor was sentenced to the maximum sentence allowed by law.
Nguzo Saba Crucial, 40, formerly of Nebraska, has spent a majority of his adult life behind bars. He learned Wednesday he’ll spend the next three decades in prison for severely beating an Army veteran with PTSD who let the guy into his room.
“This was, on December 2nd, a violent, sustained, brutal beating of Kevin White,” said Suzanne Russell, who prosecuted the case. “It was an unprovoked attack. The defendant beat Kevin White until he was unconscious. When he awakened him, he strangled him until he could not breath, then he threatened him with a knife.”
Crucial was convicted of Class A robbery, Class B robbery, burglary and burglary to a motor vehicle, Class C criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon, and misdemeanor assault during an August trial at the Penobscot Judicial Center with District Court Judge Bruce Jordan presiding.
Before Jordan sentenced Crucial, White spoke to the court. He served in the U.S. Army and deployed to Bosnia and Iraq where he was injured in an explosion that killed others and took the use of one of his eyes.
“He not only got me by surprise, but he brought me back to a mode that I’m trying to cope with,” White said, referring to his post-traumatic stress disorder.
“Ever since, day in and day out I look at the door to make sure it’s locked,” the veteran said. “I watch left and right, my heads on a swivel like I’m walking down the street in a combat zone.
“It’s still… It’s a nightmare.”
White’s mom, who is from Winterport, also spoke about how the attack has impacted his life.
Crucial’s felony criminal history started around age 20 and the judge said each time he was released from prison, within 2 years he was convicted of another felony.
“Mr. Crucial, from 1998 forward, has an almost constant involvement with the criminal justice system for serious felonies,” Jordan said.
The judge went on to add, “A very, very, very small, small percentage of the population is in and out of jail, on felony, after felony, after felony. That kind of damage and danger to the community cannot be understated.
“If this is not a case for a maximum sentence I’m not sure what would be,” Jordan said. “The court is sentencing you to 30 years to the Department of Corrections. None of that will be suspended, sir. And that is effective immediately.”