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Tiffin man found guilty of theft in first jury trial at Seneca County Justice Center amid pandemic

TiffinOhio.net Staff

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A Tiffin man was found guilty of theft Wednesday afternoon.

42-year-old Anthony N. Smith, of Tiffin, was charged with theft following an incident at Walmart on November 4, 2019, according to Tiffin-Fostoria Municipal Court records.

Reports filed with the court asserted that Smith had failed to ring up over $50 worth of goods at the self-checkout line.

Following investigation into the matter by Officer Eric England of the Tiffin Police Department, Smith was charged with theft, a first-degree misdemeanor.

The case, which was prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Charles Hall, was the subject of a one-day jury trial. It was the first jury trial to be held in the Seneca County Justice Center amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, and precautions such as social distancing, mask-wearing, cleaning, and others were observed to stymie the transmission of COVID-19.

Smith testified on his own behalf, and his attorney, Dean Henry, argued that the failure to pay for the items was a mistake, and that Smith did not have the intent to steal said items.

The jury of five women and three men found Smith guilty on the charge after deliberating for approximately 25 minutes.

Following the guilty verdict, Judge Mark Repp ordered Smith to pay a fine of $150, serve three days in the Seneca County Jail, barred him from returning to Walmart, ordered him to seek counseling, and to be placed on probation for two years.

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