Man found not guilty of stealing cheese, but he left his trial before the verdict and got prison time
Jurors found Allen Cochran not guilty of trying to steal $33 in sharp cheddar from the Food Lion on Colley Avenue in November 2015.
But the 49-year-old wasn’t there Friday to hear he’d gotten off.
He’d absconded from his own trial.
Circuit Judge Everett Martin told jurors the defendant hadn’t returned for their verdict after sitting through a one-day trial, in which he faced two felony charges.
So the jurors, who’d found him guilty of failing to show up for a previous court hearing, retired once more to figure out how they wanted to punish him.
They could’ve sentenced him to no jail time. Or Cochran still could have walked out of court a free man as long as they didn’t give him more than the seven months he’d already banked at the Norfolk jail.
Instead, they hit him with the max: five years in prison.
Martin issued a warrant for his arrest for contempt of court and absconding from his own trial…
Cochran hadn’t been arrested as of Sunday night and was listed as a fugitive.