Jury finds Fernandez not guilty

NASHUA – A Superior Court jury on Friday returned verdicts of not guilty in the case of Christine Fernandez, capping a two-day trial that centered on a family ring valued at more than $1,500.

The final witnesses testified, the closing arguments took place and the not-guilty verdicts came back all within a span of about seven hours on Friday.

The owner of the ring, a woman related to Fernandez, and with whom Fernandez, her husband and three children lived at the time, accused Fernandez of stealing the ring and pawning it at a Manchester shop for $450, according to testimony.

Fernandez’s attorneys, Eleftheria Keans and Elliot Freidman, insisted from the outset that the case was all about “trying to turn a misunderstanding into a crime.”

Assistant County Attorney Lisa Drescher, who prosecuted the case, told the jury Fernandez was guilty of the two charges – theft by unauthorized taking and theft of lost or mislaid property – because she took the ring from a bedside table where the alleged victim left it after taking it off to put on hand lotion. However, members of the jury did not agree.