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Man not guilty of theft, burglary from restaurant

July 24, 2005|by Pepper Ballard

A Brunswick, Md., man was found not guilty by a Washington County Circuit Court jury Thursday on charges of misdemeanor theft and second-degree burglary in connection with a February reported theft of more than $3,000 from a local Rocky's Pizza restaurant, according to court documents.

Defense motions for acquittal on charges of felony theft scheme and felony theft were granted before the jury returned - after a little more than an hour of deliberation - with its not guilty findings for Norman Thomas Daywalt, 28, whose address is listed on charging documents as 817 E. Potomac St. in Brunswick, according to documents and a Circuit Court clerk.

Attorney John Salvatore represented Daywalt and Deputy State's Attorney Joseph Michael prosecuted the case, records state. Circuit Judge Donald E. Beachley presided over the day-long trial, the clerk said.

Charging documents state two Maryland State Police troopers set up surveillance of Rocky's Pizza, at 22032 Jefferson Blvd., on Feb. 11, as part of the department's investigation into the theft of $3,189 in cash from the restaurant between November 2004 and February. After they watched the owner count the day's money and leave the restaurant, the troopers hid and watched two men later enter the business, according to court records.

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The troopers, Trooper 1st Class Russell Plante and Trooper 1st Class Brian Smith, watched as the men walked to the area behind the counter, where the money was kept, and crouch, charging documents state. They came out from their hiding spots and yelled for the men to get down on the ground, at which point Smith allegedly saw one of the men hand money to Daywalt, according to court documents.

Police allege in charging documents that at the time of Daywalt's immediate arrest, four banded packs were found in his hands containing 50 $1 bills, one $10 bill, a $5 bill and three rolls of quarters. The safe was found open and in disarray. It was allegedly discovered that a set of keys on the counter the troopers found once they re-entered the restaurant were obtained by Daywalt's co-defendant when he was an employee there.

- Pepper Ballard

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