A 23-year-old man stands accused of stealing a bottle of liquor from a local store, according to law enforcement sources. The alleged theft, which took place early in the morning of Oct. 12, has resulted in a felony charge being filed against the Illinois resident. So far, no court date has been set in connection with this case.

Sources allege the man left a grocery store without paying for an unidentified bottle of liquor and was stopped by store employees. He was detained at the store until police arrived. He was summarily arrested and taken to Madison County jail, where his bond was set at $15,000.

The charge against him is further exacerbated by the fact that he has an existing conviction from this year in which he was charged with, and found guilty of, burglary. Of course, his prior convictions have no bearing on this particular case in terms of the likelihood of his innocence, but the felony charge was enhanced due to his existing record. He is currently still in police custody pending a trial date.

While there appears to be little doubt the man in question did indeed leave the premises without paying for his purchase, it would be unfair to immediately presume his guilt. Additionally, even if Illinois prosecutors manage to prove the felony charge, the nature of the theft might bespeak a deeper psychological problem associated with substance abuse. Defense would be wise to look into options available for a plea bargain, possibly based in court-ordered rehabilitation.

Source: bnd.com, Theft of liquor bottle could send metro-east man to prison, No author, Oct. 16, 2013