ACCOMACK Co, Va. (Delmarva Now) -- A Withams couple was sentenced in Accomack County court in connection with theft of food from an Oak Hall pizza restaurant.
Robert and Brandy Fiddemon were both accused of stealing chicken wings, shredded cheese, and other foodstuffs from the Pizza Hut in Oak Hall in May 2017, prosecutors said.
In Accomack County court, Brandy Fiddemon pleaded guilty to the theft while her husband, who entered an Alford plea, maintained that he had bought the “expired” foodstuff from the manager.
An Alford plea is a guilty plea of a defendant who proclaims he is innocent of the crime, and admits that the prosecution has enough evidence to prove that he is guilty.
Robert Fiddemon told the court he had worked at the restaurant as a dishwasher for two and a half years.
In May, a fellow employee saw him take two bags of wings and a bag of shredded cheese and set it outside the back door of the restaurant, and the employee called police, the court heard.
Brandy Fiddemon, 38, arrived at the restaurant to pick up her husband from work at about 11:30 p.m. She put the box containing the frozen food into the trunk of the car, said Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Elizabeth Wolfe.
Police were watching and stopped the vehicle just after it left the parking lot, the court heard.
Wolfe said Brandy Fiddemon admitted to police she had items that had been stolen.
Paul Watson, defense attorney for Brandy Fiddemon, described her as completely cooperative.
“She popped the trunk (for the officers) and admitted what she did was wrong,” he said.
Robert Fiddemon’s attorney, Theresa Bliss, said her client told her he paid the store manager for the food, which was past its expiration date.
On the witness stand, Fiddemon said he had bought expired food from the manager on an earlier occasion and that it was a common practice at the restaurant.
He said the manager loaded the box with the food and put it outside the door so the other employees would not see it.
“I don’t understand,” Judge W. Revell Lewis III said to Robert Fiddemon.
“She pled guilty and you are saying you purchased the items. It is incredible to me that the police were charging you with stealing something and you were 100 yards away (from Pizza Hut). You didn’t go back and see the manager.”
Lewis sentenced Robert Fiddemon to 90 days in jail and suspended all but 10 days, which, he said could be served on weekends. He is also required to pay $94.94 in restitution.
The judge sentenced Brandy Fiddemon to 60 days in jail and suspended all of that time. He also ordered her to pay $94.94, one half of the restitution amount.