The trial for Sheridan resident Miranda Mraz got underway Wednesday in Fourth Judicial District in Sheridan County. Mraz is on trial for Felony Larceny for allegedly stealing money from the Eagles Club at 5th and Main April 21st of 2012. Sheridan Media's Ron Richter was there and has the details.
Jury selection took up the morning session, which resulted in seven women and five male jurors being selected. During opening statements, Prosecuting Attorney for the State Christopher LaRosa said that this was a case about theft and deception, and that the evidence would prove that Mraz was the only one who could have committed the crime, as she had the security code for the buildings alarm system and the safe. LaRosa said that the State would also show that the defendant had actually made two trips to the Eagles prior to the alleged burglary. Mraz had been an employee for the Eagles for a month as a bartender before the incident.
During testimony, Sheridan Police Officer Dan Keller testified that Mraz had told him that she was attacked by an unknown, unseen assailant when she attempted to turn the alarm off near the back door of the building before opening the bar for business. She went on to tell him that she then entered the downstairs area of the club and noticed that the safe was open and the money from the previous night had been removed. Mraz called 911 just before 11 am, where she told the dispatcher that the burglar had attempted to cut her in the face and that the individual had pushed her against the wall, but that it happened so fast that she did not see her attacker.
Defense Attorney Hardy Tate stated that what's happened in this case is a “rush to judgment” and that he'd show that there were a number of opportunities for a burglar to enter the premises and steal the money before Mraz showed up for work. Tate pointed out that the alarm had been off for two hours while the janitor was cleaning the building before he left at 9:26 that morning. If convicted, Mraz faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000, or any combination of both. The trial is expected to run through Friday.