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Shoplifting Suspect Gets Cut-Rate Charge

Bargain hunting appears to have paid off for a woman accused of shoplifting.

A felony retail theft charge against Cheryl Newton was reduced to a misdemeanor, meaning she could get six months behind bars instead of 10 years, said court clerk Laurie Canty.

Newton was accused of leaving a supermarket without paying for doughnuts, batteries, cigarettes and videotapes.

The items’ retail prices totaled $101.49, just over Vermont’s $100 threshold for the felony charge.

But Newton’s public defender argued that the charge should depend on the sale prices in effect the day of the alleged theft - which would lower the bill to $97.37.

Prosecutor James Mongeon said Wednesday he does not comment about plea deals. Prosecutors had argued the sale prices shouldn’t apply because they were available only to people who went to the register and paid their bill.

Newton, 32, had not yet entered a plea Wednesday.

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