Judy Dick guilty of one count

  • Article by: CURT BROWN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 10, 1997 - 11:00 PM

Jurors convicted Judy Dick of attempting to receive stolen property Thursday, but cleared the Roseville woman, her husband and daughter of all five remaining theft-related felony charges they faced.

Roseville dentist Dr. Gerald Dick, 59, and his daughter Stacy Zehren, 34, a Chicago attorney, were found not guilty of both conspiring and attempting to receive stolen designer clothes, fine crystal and a fancy briefcase from the Rosedale Dayton's store. Both could have lost their professional licenses if they had been convicted.

Charges against Gerald and Judy Dick's son James, 33, a former college football player, were dismissed in the middle of the trial after police tapes and notes appeared and prompted allegations of misconduct by two Roseville police officers.

Judy Dick, 57, made the sign of the cross as the five not-guilty verdicts were read in Ramsey County District Court at 4:45 p.m., but she leaned into attorney Paul Applebaum's embrace when she heard that the 10 women and two men on the jury had found her guilty on one count.

Sentencing was set for Sept. 5, but Applebaum said an appeal will be filed.

Judy Dick could conceivably face five years in a jail and a $10,000 fine, but Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner said: "These crimes generally do not call for prison, but some probation term that may include jail time or community service so the defendant can give back some value to the community."

Juror Jogn Fortier, a retired computer programmer from White Bear Lake, said the jury viewed Judy Dick more harshly than her husband and daughter because she was "the one we felt there was the most proof for and corroborating testimony, beyond a reasonable doubt."

Testimony during the eight-day trial painted Judy Dick as the ringleader who told career shoplifter-turned-snitch Gregory Thomas, a confessed crack addict and cross-dresser, to "bring 'em now" when he called her home last Nov. 29 on a police cellular phone to say he had Armani suits to show her.

Both the prosecution and the high-profile defense attorneys claimed that they triumphed in court.

"The jury obviously recognized what we believed, and that is that criminal activity occurred," Gaertner said.

Joe Friedberg, Zehren's lawyer, said: "It was without a doubt the strangest trial I've seen in my life. We've got one count to go. We're very gratified and I think it was a victory for us and a resounding defeat for the county."

Dick family members were tight-lipped as they marched arm-in-arm out of the courthouse and into a swarm of reporters. All Judy Dick would say was:

"My husband is the rock of our family and he's the most honest and charitable man I've ever been around in my entire life. He's been my best friend for 35 years and I've never been as proud of my five children."

Mike Dick, 23, youngest of the Dick children, hugged his brother James, who was weeping along with Zehren when the verdicts were read.

"Obviously, I'm disappointed about my mom, but I'm happy about everybody else because we can go on with our lives," Mike Dick said.

Applebaum said the family was ecstatic and confident that Judy Dick's conviction will be reversed on appeal.

"It's just beautiful for them, seven of out eight if you count Jim Dick's dismissal. They couldn't be happier," Applebaum said. "The conviction is disappointing, but it's only an attempt, not even a completed crime. So, really, it's not that serious and we can take care of it on appeal. All along, the concern was for Jerry and Stacy."

Far from over

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