Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Mistrial declared in embezzlement trial

Prosecutor plans to retry theft case against Hailey woman

Express Staff Writer

    The Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney’s office plans to retry an embezzlement case against a 47-year-old Hailey woman following declaration of a mistrial last week in Blaine County 5th District Court.
    “It was an abrupt ending to the trial,” Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Matt Fredback said Monday. “I’m going to try it again.”
    The jury trial for Barbara Lynn Adams started on Tuesday, April 8, continued through Wednesday and was ended at about noon on Thursday. Adams, who is free on $25,000 bail, is charged with grand theft by embezzlement for allegedly stealing about $40,000 from her former employer, Sun Valley Dental Group. According to a Ketchum police report, Hall is accused of stealing the money by illegally writing checks to herself from June 2006 through September 2010.
    She was charged with the crime in January of 2013, following a lengthy investigation by the Ketchum Police Department.
    The mistrial was declared by presiding Judge Jonathan P. Brody on a motion filed by defense attorney Andrew Parnes.
    Prosecuting Attorney Jim Thomas said Tuesday that Parnes moved for the mistrial because of a previously unknown document that surfaced last week regarding an audit at Sun Valley Dental.
    “The court granted a defense motion for a mistrial when the state’s witness, a forensic accountant from Ohio, failed to disclose to the prosecution a report he generated in February 2011 concerning Sun Valley Dental but unrelated to the alleged embezzlement,” Thomas stated in an email to the Idaho Mountain Express. “It wasn’t until the witness arrived in Hailey the day before he was to testify that the prosecution obtained the document. The report was immediately disclosed to the defense but the judge ruled defense counsel may have had a right to the information prior to trial and therefore granted the motion for mistrial.
    “Although we are disappointed that the trial has been delayed, we will be asking the court for a new trial date in which to retry the case,” Thomas stated.

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