OSSIPEE — A legally blind man accused of shoplifting from Walmart in 2018 could also be let off the hook from doing any jail time, based on a “diversion agreement” OK’d by a Carroll County Superior Court choose Monday.
A diversion settlement, based on uslegal.com, is “the specification of formal terms and conditions which a defendant must fulfill in order to have the charges against him/her dismissed. … Diversion is a means to avoid a judgment of criminal guilt.”
Andrew Airey, 40, of Conway pleaded not responsible to 5 counts of theft after being arrested exterior the North Conway Walmart on July 3, 2018. He claimed he didn’t imply to take objects with out paying for them at a self-checkout kiosk.
Airey suffers from Stargardt illness, also referred to as juvenile macular degeneration, which causes progressive injury to the macula, an space of the retina chargeable for sharp, straight-ahead imaginative and prescient.
His trial was held Nov. 5, 2019. In a written order dated Nov. 26, Circuit Judge Michael Garner convicted him of two counts of theft (a can of corned beef and a towel) and acquitted him of three.
In December at sentencing, Garner gave Airey two suspended fines of $500 every, however Airey selected to enchantment the decision to the Superior Court, the place the case was to start anew.
Jury choice, which was initially scheduled for March 9, was moved to May 18. But that date was later canceled attributable to “change of plea.”
On March 4, Airey took half in a settlement convention earlier than Superior Court Judge Peter Fauver.
According to Fauver’s court docket order, the case was “settled” and scheduled for a dispositional listening to. Details of the settlement weren’t then accessible.
On Tuesday morning, the Sun was given a replica of the diversion settlement by Airey’s co-counsel Stuart Dedopoulos.
Airey and his legal professionals signed the doc final week as did Assistant Carroll County Attorney Thomas Palermo who represented the prosecution.
Judge Amy Ignatius signed the settlement Monday. The settlement says that if Airey stays freed from any misdemeanor or felony prices for 2 years, the complaints shall be withdrawn.
In the occasion of any conviction ensuing from an arrest, nonetheless, the diversion settlement will robotically terminate, “at which time, as a matter of law, both appeals shall be remanded to the 3rd Circuit-District Division Conway, where they will immediately be entered as final convictions,” stated the settlement.
In addition, Airey “shall pay restitution in the amount of $240.76 to Walmart,” states the settlement. “This restitution covers the items he took from Walmart on May 4, June 9, June 13, June 28 and July, 2018, for which he did not pay, and which Walmart could not reshelve.”
Airey was given 30 days to pay and should present cost by the Conway police or County Attorney’s Office. He additionally should adjust to any “no trespass order” that Walmart might difficulty in opposition to him.
Airey releases all claims in opposition to Walmart and the Conway police about being arrested and charged. He has agreed to not converse to the press in regards to the case.
On Tuesday, Dedopoulos stated the decision was “appropriate.”
Asked if Airey has realized something from the ordeal, Dedopoulos stated the attorneys consider Airey’s spouse or kids must do the purchasing any further.
“The right thing was done in the end, and the taxpayers don’t have to pay for a complicated and lengthy trial,” stated Dedopoulos. “Andrew realizes he needs to be more careful in what he does.”