Sunday, 14 April 2024

Jury acquits Northshore man of theft from elder

NICE – On Wednesday a Lake County jury acquitted a Northshore man in an elder theft case.

Leland Buckmaster of Nice was found not guilty of five theft, contracting related and elder theft counts filed by the Lake County District Attorney’s Office.

Deputy District Attorney Rachel Abelson charged Buckmaster with theft from an elder, grand theft, embezzlement, contracting without a license and charging in excess of $1,000 for a deposit on a contract, according to a statement from Buckmaster's attorney, Doug Rhoades.

Following two days of testimony, the jury took only 45 minutes to return not guilty verdicts on all counts, Rhoades said.

The jury foreperson, who did not authorize use of a name, stated the case was such that no proof of the charges sufficient for a guilty verdict had been provided by the prosecution.

“This case should never have been filed or prosecuted” was the opinion of the foreperson.

Buckmaster had been charged based on an agreement to provide a water filtration system which was not completed in a timely manner.

After the not guilty verdicts, the defendant thanked the jurors as they exited the courtroom.

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