Friday, September 30, 2011

Suspects plead not guilty to theft

Jury trials set for Kassner and Bernam


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

On Monday, jury trials were scheduled for this winter in Blaine County 5th District Court for two Hailey men charged with separate theft crimes.

Both James Logan Kassner, 19, and Michael T. Bernam, 22, pleaded not guilty.

Kassner is charged with two felonies, burglary and criminal possession of a financial transaction card. He allegedly stole five fuel cards this summer from Mountain Rides Transportation Authority buses parked in Hailey and used them on 36 occasions to buy fuel or pay for car washes.

He has remained incarcerated on $10,000 bail in the Blaine County jail since his arrest by Hailey police on Aug. 29.

Judge Robert J. Elgee advised Kassner that burglary is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, while criminal possession of a financial transaction card is punishable by up to five years behind bars. Both crimes carry maximum fines of up to $50,000.

A jury trial was scheduled for Feb. 14.

Hailey attorney Christopher Simms is representing both Kassner and Bernam under his public defender contract with Blaine County.

Bernam, who was night manager at the Big Wood 4 Cinemas in Hailey, is charged with grand theft for allegedly failing to deposit $1,379 in cash receipts in a company bank account in December.

Elgee advised Bernam that grand theft is punishable by up to 14 years in prison and a fine of $5,000.

Bernam remains free on his own recognizance. He was not arrested on the charge, but was instead issued a felony summons.

A jury trial in that case was scheduled for Jan. 31.

Terry Smith: tsmith@mtexpress.com




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