A Harford County man convicted of the armed robbery of a pharmacy in Finksburg will serve up to 45 years in a Maryland prison, despite pleas from his family for a shorter sentence and a recommendation from the state for a longer one.
Louis Anthony Vicarini Jr., 35, of Fallston, was convicted by a jury April 20 of armed robbery, first-degree assault, firearm use in a felony and possession with the intent to distribute, among other charges. In total, he was convicted of 17 counts in connection with the May 2015 armed robbery of the Finksburg Pharmacy.
Vicarini entered the pharmacy with a loaded gun and demanded drugs from the pharmacist. After holding all three pharmacy employees at gunpoint, he took the drugs he stole and attempted to make a getaway in a vehicle allegedly driven by his brother.
Judge Fred Hecker, who presided over Vicarini's trial, sentenced him to 20 years with 10 years suspended for each of the three charges of armed robbery, to be served consecutively. The three counts of first-degree assault, one for each victim, were merged into the armed robbery charges.
Hecker gave Vicarini five years without the possibility of parole for each of the three counts of firearm use in a felony. Each five-year sentence will be served consecutively.
Hecker also sentenced Vicarini to 10 years for armed robbery conspiracy, five years without parole for firearm possession with a felony conviction, 10 years for possession of oxycodone with the intent to distribute, and five years for possession of Alprazolam with the intent to distribute. The sentences will all be served concurrently.
Vicarini told Hecker that he apologized for the pain he caused the victims, noting in particular that he hoped a former pharmacy technician would be able to pull herself through the psychological trauma he caused.
He asked Hecker to grant him a sentence that would allow him to rebuild his life after his actions destroyed it.
"I would like to apologize to the court and my family for what I put you through," Vicarini said.
The 45-year sentence is 30 years less than Deputy State's Attorney Ned Coyne asked Hecker to give Vicarini.
Coyne, who prosecuted the case with Senior Assistant State's Attorney Cara Frieman, told Hecker the 75 years, which was above sentencing guidelines, was appropriate due to the "heinous" nature of the armed robbery. Coyne justified a sentencing above the guidelines based on the nature of the armed robbery, saying that Vicarini committed a terrorizing act against the three pharmacy employees.
To demonstrate the lasting effects of Vicarini's crimes on the three employees, two of them gave statements in courts Thursday. The third could not attend for personal reasons.
"I know I'll never forget that day," pharmacist Raimon Cary said.
Frieman read a victim statement from the former pharmacy technician who ultimately lost her job as a result of the psychological damage resulting from being a victim of the crime. In addition to losing her job, the fallout has caused her financial problems and put a strain on her relationship with her husband, according to the statement read by Frieman.
"You did what you did. You need to be put away for it. I have to live with this for the rest of my life," the technician told the court.
Vicarini's attorney, Joshua Insley, asked Hecker to give his client 45 years and suspend all but 15. He said the crime was far from a heinous one and typical for an armed robbery.
"Your honor, I know the victims are deeply affected by this, but otherwise, this is a textbook stick-up," Insley said.
Insley called on five of Vicarini's family members and friends to speak on Vicarini's behalf and ask for leniency in the sentence. Many of them told the court how Vicarini was the go-to member of the family and the one they would call on for help.
The pressure of being the breadwinner and everyone asking for help must have gotten to him, said his cousin, Tanya Vicarini.
"I know he did something really bad. I know he scared these people, but he would never hurt them," she said.
They also spoke of his rough upbringing — his father and mother were both drug addicts — and how he was a good father to his two sons. His oldest son was at the sentencing and told his dad he loved him as Vicarini was escorted away.
Many of his friends and family members also apologized for his actions, often directing their apologies at the victims. His father, Louis Vicarini, apologized to his son, telling him he was sorry for not being there when he needed him.
"I feel that I'm partly to blame in all this. I'm so sorry, Tony," his father said.