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1972: 'Error in semantics' leads to dismissal of embezzlement charges against local woman

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - January 6, 1972 No Boating. Boats were pulled ashore along Ochoco Reservoir as the cold winter weather put a layer of ice over the lake. The reservoir is a popular year-round site for fishing, but if the cold weather continues, the angler will have to include an axe with his other tackle in order to get a chance to lure the fish from the icy water.

Editor's note: The Central Oregonian archives are missing the Jan. 7-Feb. 24 editions of 1927, therefore the 95 years ago portion is not avaiable.

75 years ago

January 2, 1947

The coldest weather of the winter greeted Crook county residents this morning, with an official temperature reading of zero reported by Mrs. Hattie Goodknight, weather observer here. The season's pervious low was four above zero the morning of December 30.

The chilly weather of the past few days was welcomed by skaters, who found plenty of ice available in several parts of Central Oregon in the Christmas-New Year holiday period. The pond in the big cut at the north end of Main street, flooded by the newly organized Civic and Youth Coordinating Council, was frozen over last week, and skaters also found excellent ice at Stewart's dam on river. Going farther afield, some skaters reported good sport on Houston Lake and at Tumalo Reservoir east of Bend.

50 years ago

January 6, 1972 An error in semantics resulted in the dismissal of the embezzlement charges against Mrs. Anna Marie Stockton last week.

District Attorney Phil Roberts said that the word "bailee" had been used instead of "agent" in the indictment returned against Mrs. Stockton Aug. 31. The case wouldn't stand in court, Roberts said after discovering the error just prior to the trial which was set for Jan. 12.

Roberts indicated that he will rewrite the indictment and submit it for reconsideration by the Grand Jury Jan. 25.

The indictment had charged that Mrs. Stockton "unlawfully and willfully and feloniously failed, neglected and refused to deliver, keep and account for" $900 belonging to Hot Coffee Investment, Inc., the parent firm of Rustler's Roost Restaurant, which Mrs. Stockton managed for two years prior to her dismissal last August.

25 years ago

January 7, 1997

Police detective Tim Azbill's investigation into the early December armed robbery of a Main Street convenience store has ended. The police officer reports that evidence suggests the incident didn't happen exactly as reported.

Azbill said Monday that as a result of interviews conducted the week following the incident, the police department is focusing its investigation on a case of theft rather than an armed robbery.

It all began shortly before 6 p.m. the evening of Dec. 19, when the clerk working at the Denny's Express/BP gas station on North Main Street called 911 to report he had been robbed. Police quickly responded and began searching for suspects.

The robbery victim reported that a man, identified only as a young adult male of medium height and wearing a hooded sweatshirt, had confronted him at the gas pumps. The robber, according to the victim, was wearing a mask and was armed with a full sized handgun, possibly a .45 caliber pistol. Displaying the weapon, the robber demanded all the cash in the register.

The robber then told the clerk to lie down, and he fled on foot. The clerk said as he was calling the police he saw the robber disappear in the vicinity of Barr's Cafe.

Prineville police officers, Crook County Sheriff's deputies and a Oregon State Police trooper responded and began searching the area.

Azbill said officers are no longer looking at the incident as a robbery but are investigating it as a theft. Robbery, according to state statute, is when a person is armed with a deadly weapon for the commitment of theft. Theft, on the other hand, is the same without the dangerous or deadly weapon.

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