CLEARFIELD – After deliberating about 45 minutes on Wednesday, a Clearfield County jury acquitted a Coalport man of stealing $6,000 from a business.
Michael Lee Fyock was charged with felony theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property in relation to an incident in June of 2020.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, Fyock was playing a skills game at a Coalport business when the owner went outside to help a customer.
When he came back in, Fyock was in the office where the funds for the skills machine are kept in a bag in a desk drawer.
Shortly after this, Fyock left the business and a neighbor came in to report that he saw Fyock through an open door in the office, get into his desk and take money from the bag.
The owner did not contact police until August of 2020 because he reportedly wanted to give Fyock a chance to give the money back.
In her closing arguments, defense attorney Tami Fees stated that the witness’ account of that night “doesn’t make any sense” about how the door actually opens in relation to the desk and how he could see it from his window about 40 feet away.
She speculated that the witness actually had an opportunity to take the money and then used Fyock as a scapegoat because he happened to be in the business that night.
She stated that the witness looked across at the business every day and could have taken the money at any time because there was no evidence as to when the money was actually taken except the witness’ statements.
“It’s all speculation and that is not enough.”
Assistant District Attorney Warren Mikesell in his closing, countered Fees’ statements by pointing out that Fyock was in the business two or three times a day, but after this incident, he didn’t come back.
He admitted it that it was “stupid” to do business this way, with an open door to an unlocked desk drawer, but noted that the witness had just come home from work and wouldn’t have known that Fyock was in the business for hours that day.
He also stated that the witness would not know where the bag with the money from the skills machine was kept, but because he played the games so often, Fyock did.
He commended the witness for “having the decency to step up” and tell the owner about the crime.