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State v. Beckwith

Supreme Court of Maine

June 9, 2015

STATE OF MAINE
v.
DANIELLE A. BECKWITH

Argued: April 8, 2015

On the briefs:

Marvin H. Glazier, Esq., Vafiades, Brountas & Kominsky, LLP, Bangor, for appellant Danielle A. Beckwith

Janet T. Mills, Attorney General, and Leanne Robbin, Asst. Atty. Gen., Office of the Attorney General, Augusta, for appellee State of Maine

At oral argument:

Kaylee J. Folster, Esq., Vafiades, Brountas & Kominsky, LLP, Bangor, for appellant Danielle A. Beckwith

Leanne Robbin, Asst. Atty. Gen., for appellee State of Maine

Panel: ALEXANDER, GORMAN, JABAR, HJELM, and CLIFFORD, JJ.

HJELM, J.

[¶1] Danielle Beckwith appeals from a judgment of conviction for attempted theft by deception (Class D), 17-A M.R.S. §§ 152(1)(D), 354(1)(B)(4) (2014) and two counts of tampering with public records or information (Class D), 17-A M.R.S. § 456(1)(A) (2014), entered in the trial court (Romei, J.) after a bench trial. Beckwith argues that her conduct did not constitute a violation of 17-A M.R.S. § 456(1)(A) as interpreted in State v. Spaulding, 1998 ME 29, 707 A.2d 378, and that the evidence was insufficient to convict her of any of the charges. For the reasons stated below, we overrule Spaulding in part and affirm the judgment.

I. BACKGROUND

[¶2] "Viewing the evidence admitted at trial in the light most favorable to the State, the [fact-finder] could rationally have found the following facts beyond a reasonable doubt." State v. Troy, 2014 ME 9, ¶ 3, 86 A.3d 591 (quotation marks omitted).

[¶3] From 1990 to 1995 and again from 2005 until her termination in 2012, Beckwith worked for the Maine Judicial Branch Office of Transcript Production (Office), which coordinates the production of transcripts of court proceedings.[1] In 2007, Beckwith became the Office's supervisor, which, among other things, made her responsible for approving refunds for overpayment for transcripts. She held that position at the time of the incident giving rise to this case.

[ΒΆ4] When the Office receives a transcript order, a staff member estimates the cost of the transcript, which must be paid in full before the work begins. This information is entered in a database, an index, and a logbook. The estimated cost for the transcript is rounded up so that the deposit usually exceeds the actual cost. As a result of this practice, the requesting party is typically entitled to a refund after the transcript is completed. When the transcript has been produced and the actual cost has been determined, the Office's supervisor completes and signs a form authorizing the refund and submits it to the Judicial Department's Revenue Manager for approval. As long as the form is signed by a supervisor, the Revenue Manager approves the refund. The Office of the State Controller issues the refund check and mails it to the Office of Transcript Production, which then mails it to the party who is due the refund. The ...


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