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Friday, September 21, 2012

iPhone Thief Acquitted After Admitting to Stealing Phone to Support His Drug Habit

Posted By on Fri, Sep 21, 2012 at 4:26 PM


A San Francisco jury acquitted a 21-year-old man of robbery even after he admitted to snatching an iPhone from a Whole Food shopper's hands.

Instead, the jury convicted him of the lesser charge of theft, agreeing with his attorney that this case was "outrageously overcharged."

Malcolm Graham, 21, was arrested on May 7 after he grabbed an iPhone from a woman's hand as she started to make a call outside Whole Foods on California and Franklin streets.

The cops showed up and tackled Graham, struck him with a radio, and punched him repeatedly in the head, leaving him with a swollen eyes and bruises, according to the Public Defender's Office.

During the six-day trial, the victim said Graham's method was "a clean swipe." Graham admitted to the theft, saying he stole the phone to support his addiction to pain pills. But his attorney argued that he never used fear or force, which is essential for a robbery charge.

Graham was also cleared of charges of robbing a high school student of his iPhone four hours earlier.

"The  District Attorney should charge only the crime shown by the evidence," said S.F. Public Defender Jeff Adachi. "The jury agreed with our assessment that the charges were inflated."

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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