ELLSWORTH – The trial for an Ellsworth woman who was charged with theft from her employer two years ago ended last week with a not guilty verdict, but she says that hasn’t quite cleared her name.
“Everybody says that it’s innocent until proven guilty … In my opinion, it’s guilty until proven innocent,” said Brandy Abbott.
Brandy Abbott was charged in April 2016 with stealing around $8,000 from Acadia Village Resorts.
“I haven’t been employed since… Two years ago,” she said sitting in the kitchen of her sister’s house. “I’ve lost my home. I’m homeless. I have no car I have no job but I have a not guilty verdict.”
A two-day trial in Hancock County Unified Criminal Court last week ended with a not guilty verdict. She said it’s clear from the testimony at the trial that someone else in the condo office may be to blame.
She is currently couch surfing or staying temporarily with friends or family.
“You can rebuild from that but you can’t take people’s opinion s away from them,” Abbott said. “They have been drawing those opinions for the past two years.”
The felony theft charge made it impossible to find a job for the Ellsworth native, who graduated from the local high school and had never been in trouble with the law before.
“I applied for jobs on the other coast. In Washington state, I applied for jobs in Virginia. I applied for jobs everywhere and the general response was just a screenshot of that article,” Abbott said. “And you never see it when someone is found not guilty. Or you never stop and think about the two years of that person’s life that got taken away from them.”
Now that her name has been cleared, Abbott is concentrating on starting anew.
“I mean it’s over now but really it’s not because now I have to try to begin again,” she said.