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Criminal Law Keyed to Gershowitz
State v. Lough
Citation:899 A.2d 468.
On July 14, 2003, the defendant stopped to aid a fellow officer, Thomas Teft. Officer Teft had detained a juvenile, Shane, because he suspected that the young man was operating a stolen minibike. Rather than arresting him, Officer Teft decided to confiscate the bike and hold it at the police station until Shane could produce proof of ownership. When the defendant arrived at the scene, Officer Teft explained to him that he was unsure about the protocol for confiscating the minibike. The defendant volunteered to take possession of the bike and complete the necessary paperwork. The defendant put the bike into his trunk.
Later, the defendant decided to rid himself of the bike by leaving it behind a dumpster. He assumed that Shane would never return to claim the bike, but this assumption proved to be wrong and Shane arrived at the police station the next morning with his mother to reclaim the confiscated bike. The department was unable to locate the bike. The defendant eventually came forward with his story about leaving the bike behind a dumpster.
He was convicted of embezzlement and fraudulent conversion under § 11-41-3. He appealed, arguing that the trial court incorrectly instructed the jury that a person could violate the statute by disposing of the property of another.
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