Salem Massachusetts Man Charged With Stealing Purse From Courthouse Faces A Probation Surrender Hearing And New Criminal Charges
The Salem News reports that nineteen year old Marshall Glover has been charged with stealing a woman's purse from the Salem courthouse. According to reports, after passing through the metal detector the security guard informed the woman that she could not take her cell phone into the courthouse. The forgetful visitor left her purse in the bin and departed to find a safe place for her phone. Another court visitor, who was currently on probation, placed his coat over the handbag and scooped it up after it passed through the X-Ray machine. Glover was not only charged with stealing the purse but he also faces a probation surrender hearing. It has been reported that Glover will spend approximately one month in jail without the possibility of posting bail until his next court date.
In Massachusetts, in order to prove larceny the government must prove that Glover intentionally took the purse with the intent to permanently keep it. Although the facts of this case are not all known, a viable defense in these circumstances may be that Glover accidentally picked up the purse when he picked up his jacket. If convicted of larceny in the district court a defendant can face up to two and one half years in jail.
Here, the defendant also faces a probation surrender. At a probation revocation hearing the formal rules of evidence do not apply. The standard that the probation department must meet to establish a preliminary violation in Massachusetts is probable cause: the standard at the final surrender hearing is preponderance of the evidence. The rules of admissibility at a probation hearing are less stringent than the rules of evidence at trial. For example, at a probation hearing hearsay may be admissible if it has "indicia of reliability." However, if a probation revocation hearing is based entirely on hearsay evidence of criminal conduct, the judge should place on the record a reasoned statement indicating the reliability of the hearsay evidence and a finding of good cause for the Commonwealth not producing a witness with personal knowledge of the violation. If a judge finds that a defendant has violated the terms of his probation, he or she can generally be sentenced up to the maximum number of years provided by the statute.