On February 5, Stephen Pierce, a former eighth-grade teacher at the Woodbury School in Salem, New Hampshire, was about to plead guilty to theft-related charges when he learned that a grand jury would be indicting him with additional charges in the coming weeks.
According to regional news source the Union Leader, the 47-year-old allegedly stole approximately 40 pieces of jewelry from a couple he was friends with and pawned it for roughly $33,000.
This stolen property charge, which could land Pierce 7.5 to 15 years in prison, comes just months after he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor theft charge. In May 2012, Pierce was arrested for selling a stolen Nikon D60 camera to a pawn shop. Apparently, the camera belonged to his school's yearbook program, and Pierce was fired as a result of the incident. According to the source, Salem police uncovered a photocopy of the former teacher's driver's license when looking through pawnshop slips and linked him to the theft.
When the couple who Pierce allegedly stole the jewelry from realized that their friend had been convicted of theft, they noticed that some of their possessions were missing and brought the new set of charges against him. Prosecutors said that the thefts occurred between March 2011 and April 2012. Pierce's public defender didn't mention the court charges his client will be facing, but said that police have been reviewing records at local pawn shops for months.
If you have been accused of theft or any other crime, you may want to consider consulting an experienced New Hampshire lawyer. These professionals can review your case and defend you in court, ensuring that you have a fair trial.