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Criminal Justice

Veteran Criminal Defense Attorney Gets Probation for Stealing Ice Cream Shop Signs

Posted Oct 27, 2011 12:32 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A bizarre case in which a veteran Massachusetts criminal defense lawyer admitted he took ice cream shop signs after concluding (wrongly, the shop owner says) that she had called the police on his adult son as he was performing a magic show in front of the shop, has ended with a plea bargain and probation.

Raymond Buso, 58, pleaded "sufficient facts" in response to charges related to the theft of three signs, the Boston Globe reported. However, those charges will be dropped in six months if he complies with the court's ruling.

Charges of witness intimidation were dropped earlier this week. However, Buso must stay away from Rita’s Italian Ice, shop owner Cynthia Weaver and the Museum Place Mall in which the shop is located.

Weaver said she had asked Buso's son to move his magic show a short distance away, never called the police, the newspaper says. She also said she handed out free samples to those in the audience, who tended to come into her shop afterward.

Video surveillance reportedly showed Buso taking several of the shop signs and his fingerprints were on one of the discarded signs.

Buso said he had been publicly humiliated by the Salem District Court case and, worst of all, had not been able to take on several murder cases as a defense lawyer because the Committee for Public Counsel Services would not let him do so while his own matter was pending.

"I had a very bad day when I broke down because I had to look a young man in the face and tell him I couldn’t be his lawyer because of my stupidity," he told the court, adding: "I could see in his face when I said that it was like pulling a plug."

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Veteran Criminal Lawyer Charged in Strange Case re Stolen Ice Cream Shop Signs"

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