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Case Result

Criminal Case Results: Larceny: Not Guilty After Trial

Criminal Case Results: Larceny: Not Guilty After Trial

Police Report: Police arrested a Cranston man on a warrant issued by the Town of North Providence for theft of a cellphone. An AT&T Wireless store experienced the theft when a man purporting to be a customer stole a display model iPhone X cellphone. A store representative notified police of the incident and provided authorities with video surveillance footage from inside the store that captured the event. Police then created a still image of the suspect from the video footage and posted it on the North Providence Police Facebook Page asking the public for assistance with identifying the thief. In response to the Facebook post, police received an anonymous tip with the possible identity of the man. Using this information, police created a photo array using the suspect’s driver’s license photo and five others with similar characteristics. They then displayed the photos to the AT&T Wireless representative who identified the man as the person who he believed stole the cellphone. Based on this identification procedure, police charged and arrested the man for larceny.

Persons convicted of larceny rarely see jail. In this case, however, the man was on a suspended jail sentence with probation in Rhode Island Superior Court. This exposed him to the possibility of a 5-year jail sentence, if convicted. Unwilling to admit to a crime he did not commit, the man exercised his right to trial and retained RI Larceny Defense Lawyer John L. Calcagni III. to defend him in this matter. Attorney Calcagni conducted an independent investigation and discovered his client had an alibi making it impossible that he committed the cellphone theft. The theft occurred at 7PM on the day in question. The man, a waiter at a well-known restaurant, had called out sick from work that night. Earlier that afternoon, he became violently ill at a barbershop and had to be driven home by a friend. This was all witnessed and documented with text messages. Once home where the man resided with his parents, he did not leave the house until the next day. His mother, a healthcare professional, returned home from work around 5PM where she discovered her son in bed. She looked after and cared for him throughout the night, to include checking in on him and bringing him water. This too was documented by text messages.

At trial, the Town of North Providence offered the cellphone store representative’s testimony and photo identification as procedure evidence. Attorney Calcagni cross-examined the representative in a manner emphasizing that he believed, but was not sure the defendant was the cellphone thief. He only saw the thief on the day in question and at no other time in his life. Attorney Calcagni then called two alibi witnesses, the man’s mother and friend who authenticated the text messages described above and illness. Attorney Calcagni also elicited opinion testimony from both witnesses that the man depicted in the photo array, as identified by the store employee, was not the defendant. Finally, the defendant took the stand in his own defense, corroborated his alibi and denied the charge. Based on the foregoing evidence, the man was found not guilty.

Criminal Case Result: