Judge reverses man’s $27 theft conviction

Posted March 27, 2010, at 12:40 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — A man accused of stealing a $27 box of pills to treat heartburn at a Maine supermarket was found guilty by a jury one day — then cleared by the judge the next day.

Eugene Mooers, 55, of Whitefield, who defended himself on a charge of theft by unauthorized taking, was convicted on Monday.

But the Kennebec Journal reported that Justice John Nivison had concerns about whether there was enough evidence to support the conviction. The next day, after hearing from the defendant and the prosecutor, and reviewing tapes and pictures, Nivison acquitted Mooers.

District Attorney Evert Fowle said his office is considering appealing Nivison’s ruling.

Mooers said he was at the store to buy hair dye for his girlfriend and never touched the box he was accused of taking.

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