After his phone was found inside an apartment in a building that was burgled JD, a 60-year-old man, was accused of Breaking & Entering with Intent to Commit a Felony and Larceny Over $250.
At first it appeared obvious that JD was the thief. The same day of the theft JD was seen walking by the home by the building’s owner. Moreover, JD had never been invited inside the apartment.But, upon deeper examination it was not so clear.
There was significant evidence to the contrary. As it happened, JD had lived in the same home (though not the same apartment) until only a week before. JD and the owner were long-time acquaintances who had just gone through a contentious falling-out. In addition to JD’s phone a second unknown phone was found in the same plastic bag that contained JD’s phone. That second phone was never investigated; despite the fact that it remained in police custody for almost 2 years, no one ever turned it on or determined its true owner. The window through which the thief gained entry was quite small; JD was a large, round man who had just been hospitalized for 2 weeks. Also, the building’s owner was a therapist who routinely saw recovering drug-addicted clients in the basement, none of whom were ever interviewed. Lastly, there were no call logs that showed when the phone was last used.
After a 5-day trial, including 2 days of jury deliberations, JD was acquitted of both charges.