Unappealing legal strategy: Boston man charged with forging verdict slip

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 30, 2016 1:15 PM

BOSTON (Reuters) - A Boston man who was convicted in 2014 of stealing a laptop from his law school but spent no time in prison could be looking at 20 years behind bars after prosecutors charged him with tampering with the verdict slip from his trial.

Former Suffolk University Law School student David Scher, 33, was charged with crimes including perjury on Wednesday for allegedly removing the original verdict slip, which the jury foreperson had checked "guilty," from his case file, copying and replacing it with a forged version with "not guilty" checked, prosecutors said.

After doing that, Scher filed a complaint with the state Department of Criminal Justice Information Services, contending that he had been found not guilty at trial and that the court record was inaccurate, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney's office.

His attorney later appealed a decision by the law school to deny Scher a diploma over the laptop theft, citing the new "not guilty" verdict form.

Scher pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to charges that included tampering with a court document, forgery, and two counts of uttering a false document. If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to 20 years in state prison.

His original sentence of 90 days for the laptop theft had been suspended by the judge in that case for two years.

An attorney for Scher could not be reached for immediate comment.

The original "guilty" verdict slip has not been recovered, prosecutors said.

(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Tom Brown)