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Stealing Less Than $5 Worth of Chicken Can Get You 10 to 20

Mallon & Tranger is a New Jersey criminal defense law firm that offers aggressive legal representation to defendants charged with theft and other misdemeanor and felony crimes. If you have questions about your rights after an arrest in or around Somerville, contact us online or call us at (732) 410-6094).

The news story reads a little bit like the plot of the musical play and Oscar-winning movie Les Misérables: man steals loaf of bread and it haunts him for the rest of his life. But this story happens in New Jersey, not France, and it is happening now, not in the 1800s.

Cheo Jennings of Franklin Township is facing a prison sentence of 10 to 20 years if he is convicted of stealing a bag of chicken priced at $4.53 and threatening the store owner with a knife when confronted.

On September 16, 2013, Superior Court Judge Robert Reed confirmed bail for Mr. Jennings in the amount of $75,000. Mr. Jennings' attorney asked the judge to release his client without bail, pointing to Mr. Jennings' ties to the community. The judge refused.

The criminal charges stem from an incident on August 30, when Mr. Jennings allegedly walked out of a local market without paying for a bag of chicken he was carrying. When the store owner confronted him, Mr. Jennings allegedly became aggressive, punching and attempting to stab the shop owner. Mr. Jennings told police he did steal the chicken but that he kept the knife in the closed position and showed it to the store owner to keep the owner away from him.

These types of criminal complaints, where much of the evidence consists of statements by witnesses, are often settled out of court. The news reports do not state whether any security cameras in the vicinity recorded any part of the incident. The combination of charges against Mr. Jennings-armed robbery and possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes-could result in a decades'-long prison sentence for Mr. Jennings.

Consult Knowledgeable Somerville Criminal Defense Lawyers

Don't hesitate to contact Mallon & Tranger in Somerville, New Jersey, for a consultation if you have questions about your rights after an arrest for theft, robbery or any other felony or misdemeanor crime.

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