On April 5, 2019 ML was working as a bar tender at a hall in Haverhill. There was a mercy meal function and she had been called in to work the function. ML was a 49 year old single mother of two children. During the course of the evening ML had occasion to go out to a storage hallway behind the bar to pick up an additional bottle of liquor for the bar. While in the back hallway a woman came out of the ladies room (which was located off the hallway) and handed a pocket book to ML. The lady told ML that she found the pocketbook in the ladies room. ML quickly glanced inside the pocketbook and then walked back into the area behind the bar and placed the pocketbook on a shelf under the bar next to her own pocketbook. All the above was captured on a security video in the hallway and behind the bar. At a later point in the evening ML can be seen (on the security video) bending down under the bar in the area where she had placed her own pocketbook and the pocketbook that had been handed to her. Later in the evening a woman at the mercy meal can be seen running around the hall and finally approaching the bar. The woman tells ML that she cannot find her pocketbook. ML is seen immediately getting the pocketbook and handing it to the woman. The lady looks inside the pocket book and yells that her $500 in cash for her rent was missing from the pocket book. The woman dials 911 and the police respond. The police speak to ML who denies stealing anything from the pocketbook.
The next day the police review all the security videos from the bar and charge ML with Larceny (stealing) of the $500 allegedly taken from the pocketbook.
ML then meets with and retains Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover. ML and Attorney Lewin go to Haverhill District Court. ML – from day one – insisted to Attorney Lewin that ML was innocent. The case went through an arraignment, a pre-trial hearing, several discovery compliance dates (so that Attorney Lewin could get all the security videos), and ultimately was set down for a trial by jury on March 31, 2020. Then the covid 19 pandemic struck. It took a year and a half to finally get a new firm date for jury trial. The case was set down for trial on Monday, August 16, 2021. In the weeks leading up to the trial ML and Attorney Lewin prepared for the trial. Attorney Lewin prepared ML to testify in her own defense at the trial. At the same time Attorney Lewin “pestered” the DA’s Office to drop the case. On Friday morning, August 13, 2021, the Judge in Haverhill District Court had scheduled a “trial readiness conference” with the Assistant District Attorney and Attorney Lewin (on the phone). The Assistant District Attorney told the Judge and Attorney Lewin that the District Attorney was filing a “nolle prosequi”. A “nolle prosequi” is a termination of the prosecution of a criminal case by the Commonwealth. It is a dismissal of the case that is filed by the Commonwealth.