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Mr. Tumelty represented Helena Hendricks, who was charged with first degree murder in Atlantic County Superior Court. The defendant faced a number of additional charges, including armed robbery, conspiracy and possession of a handgun for an unlawful purpose. At the conclusion of a jury trial that lasted three weeks, the defendant was found "not guilty" of all charges.

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Getting Your Kid to Help You Shoplift is Wrong on Many Counts

A New Jersey woman is facing significant jail time for using her four-year-old daughter to steal a purse. Nygeria Dixon, a 24-year-old New Brunswick resident, is charged with child endangerment and theft for the act. Her bail is set at $120,000.

South Brunswick police say that Dixon was shopping with her daughter last month when she used the child to grab another woman’s wallet from her cart. The victim was distracted, looking at greeting cards, when Dixon’s daughter took the wallet. Mother and daughter immediately left the store with another woman. The credit cards were used only minutes later, at a mall in the area.

It is not uncommon for adults to use children to commit acts of theft. This is an unfortunate reality, but it happens relatively often. The possible motivation is that if the child is caught, the adult can say the child was just being naughty and acting on their own accord. While any form of theft is illegal, using a child to commit theft exposes the offender to increased charges, such as child endangerment. This is because it can be argued that failing to teach a child that stealing is wrong can have a seriously negative impact on the child’s future.

In all criminal cases, it is important to remember that the defendant is innocent until proven guilty. However, skilled legal representation is essential to a favorable outcome. A criminal record can come back to haunt a person, creating difficulties in getting housing or employment for years to come. It is extremely important to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney when facing any kind of criminal charges. If convicted, there are a number of alternative sentencing options available to rehabilitate offenders. Sometimes help, not punishment, is the answer.

Seasoned criminal defense lawyer John W. Tumelty offers free consultations for people facing criminal charges. Contact him today at one of his offices near Atlantic City, NJ.


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