Judge acquits former student president in prosecution for theft of newspapers
LOUISIANA — A judge in mid-January acquitted a former student government president accused of criminal mischief for asking fraternity brothers to get rid of an edition of the Southeastern Louisiana University school newspaper, the Associated Press reported.
“As attorneys stated, this is a ‘college prank.’ It should have been addressed by normal school disciplinary proceedings,” state District Judge James Kuhn wrote.
The judge found the student, Mark Morice, not guilty of criminal mischief, noting that one of the students who removed the copies of the Lion’s Roar said that Morice withdrew his request to take or destroy the paper, the AP reported.
Judge Kuhn held that the issue of intent was not proven beyond a reasonable doubt in the bench trial in Amite in early January.
Campus police charged Morice in March with a felony theft count, the AP reported. Police said Morice, a former student member of the Board of Trustees for State Colleges and Universities, had friends take 2,000 to 3,000 copies of an issue of the paper that had an unfavorable story about student government. A Tangipahoa Parish grand jury indicted Morice on the misdemeanor criminal mischief count in June.
(State v. Morice)