A judge dismissed a felony case against a former Walmart employee accused of falsely obtaining more than $45,000 from the store.
The case against Dierbourn Mutch, 33, of Krebs, was dismissed without prejudice by Special District Judge Tim Mills, meaning the District 18 District Attorney’s Office could feasibly attempt to refile the charges.
Mills dismissed the case upon learning from Assistant District Attorney Ronald Boyer that a witness wasn’t present for a scheduled preliminary hearing Tuesday morning. Mills, in his ruling, also cited the fact that prosecutors failed to turn over evidence to defense attorney Brecken Wagner, including checks Mutch purportedly wrote at the store.
Prosecutors had already received a prior continuance from the judge in September.
“For the purpose of timeliness, it just makes sense to me these documents would be provided to Mr. Wagner,” Mills said. “I would have thought in the three months time that would have happened.
“I don’t get it,” the judge said.
Mills said the delays threaten Mutch’s constitutional right to a speedy trial.
“The young lady is entitled to a speedy trial,” Mills said. “She is obviously not getting it.”
Mills said he generally gives each side one pass when it comes to getting witnesses into court. He said he had already done so for the state.
Police and court records filed by prosecutors in May indicate Mutch was arrested when Walmart employees made an embezzlement allegation. The filings from prosecutors said Mutch “wrote 96 checks to the cash office for a total of $45,755.” The checks were written between Dec. 28, 2011, to April 9, 2013. The court records indicate Mutch was an assistant manager at the store.
The witness not present for the hearing was identified by Boyer as Scott Miller in Walmart’s lost prevention department. A subpoena was issued in September, but Boyer believed Miller was in Dallas Tuesday.
T he prosecutor sought another continuance from the judge but it was denied.
Mutch’s defense attorney, Brecken Wagner, criticized the district attorney’s handling of the case.
“The young woman lost her job over this,” Wagner said in court. “She has a two-year-old and she can’t get a job with these charges pending.”
Wagner said in an interview with the paper that Mutch is innocent.
“My client has been dealing with this since May,” Wagner said. “She was looking forward to an opportunity to start clearing her name.”
Boyer said he did not know why the witness did not show.
“He was subpoenaed, and he’s not here,” Boyer said.