The jury spent about two-hours deliberating before reaching a verdict.
Frederick, Md (KM) The former manager of the Clustered Spires Golf Course in Frederick was found not guilty of running a theft scheme. Don Frost, 51, of Dickerson, was acquitted of pocketing the money from the sales of golf grips purchased by the City of Frederick, which owns the golf course.
“Theft and embezzlement cases are particularly difficult to prosecute because there are almost always done by someone who is in a position of trust, and this case was no different,” says State’s Attorney Charlie Smith.
He says his office presented this case based on the evidence and the law. But he acknowledges that arguing this case in court had its own challenges. “These types of cases usually divide people into two camps. There are people who believe the prosecutor is failing the people if they don’t pursue charges; or they’re corrupt as well as the guy’s whose stealing. And those who feel strongly that you’re targeting a good person wrongly because they would never steal,” says Smith.
He says his staff worked hard to come up with a solid case against Mr. Frost. “We had several difficult issues to deal with; bookkeeping was one of them, obviously. But certainly we felt that the facts of him taking cash and putting it in a cigar box, cashing checks and depositing them in his personal accounts. We feel strongly that the theft case was made out,” Smith says.
The jury took about two-hours to deliberate before reaching its verdict of not-guilty. “Those 12 people, for whatever reason, couldn’t come to an agreement on whether he was stealing. But they did come to an agreement that we couldn’t prove our case, and that’s why they came back with a not-guilty,”: says Smith. But he says while he disagrees with the verdict, he respects it.
Last week, one of the theft scheme charges having to do with retrieving lost golf balls and selling them to a company to be reconditioned was dismissed. In making his decision, the judge said the State had not proved that the golf balls belonged to the city.
With the jury’s decision on Monday, Smith says the case against Frost is closed.
By Kevin McManus