Former Dusty Old Cars owner scores 20 not-guilty verdicts; additional trial slated for May
CONCORD – By returning 20 not guilty verdicts Friday on theft and forgery charges, a Superior Court jury handed embattled former Dusty Old Cars owner Stephan Condodemetraky a significant boost toward his self-proclaimed goal of full exoneration in a complicated series of cases that once included dozens of charges.
Jurors deliberated roughly five hours on Friday before returning across-the-board verdicts of not guilty on 10 counts of falsifying information on vehicle title applications; nine counts of forgery; and one count of witness tampering, according to the court file on the Merrimack County case.
The forgery charges accused Condodemetraky of forging motor vehicle purchase contracts, while the falsifying information charges alleged he violated anti-theft laws by entering false information into vehicle title applications.
The charges stemmed from allegations Condodemetraky forged information in contracts involving Dusty Old Cars and a customer named Brad West, then presented the documents to the state Division of Motor Vehicles to receive titles to West’s vehicles.
The witness tampering count accuses him of trying to convince one of his employees to give false testimony to the grand jury.
Since the sweeping jury verdicts, only a handful of charges remain pending against Condodemetraky, including one felony theft count on which he was convicted in February, but has since appealed the conviction to the state Supreme Court.
A Rockingham Superior Court judge in September dismissed two additional charges – one count each of theft by unauthorized taking and theft by deception.
Unless something changes in the meantime, Hillsborough County Superior Court-South in Nashua is Condodemetraky’s next trial venue.
As it stands now, Condodemetraky will be tried on seven counts of theft by misapplication, six of which are Class A felonies and one a Class B felony.
During a Wednesday status hearing before Judge Charles Temple, the court scheduled a trial management conference for May 8, and set jury selection for May 18.
The trial itself is now scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. on May 19. The court estimates a seven-day trial, to be conducted during the course of two weeks.
Meanwhile, Condodemetraky, in a statement he issued to news outlets announcing the 20 not guilty verdicts, both celebrated the development and criticized state prosecutors.
“I look forward to my next day in court … ,” he said, referring to the May trial in Nashua.
“The state continues to assert false claims against me,” he said, adding that it’s the state that “bears the responsibility for consumers losing the ability to be paid in full for their vehicles.”
Condodemetraky, after thanking the jury “for evaluating the witnesses and the evidence presented at trial … and returning not guilty verdicts,” further chided prosecutors for “choosing not to publicize the verdict in my favor … “ and “attempting to exclude testimony and evidence that vindicated me.”
He said he believes prosecutors “went to great lengths to bolster an apparent smear campaign against me and the company,” referring to Dusty Old Cars.
Dean Shalhoup may be reached at 594-1256, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.