CHENEY, Wash. -- A man has been cleared of a theft charge after a bemused jury in Washington state found him not guilty of stealing a 99-cent hot dog.
John Richardson got the sausage from the self-serve counter of a Cheney, Wash., grocery store in December. He ate it while he shopped but forgot to include it when he paid for his groceries.
Store managers confronted Richardson and called police.
It took jurors about five minutes to reach their verdict in the February trial. Juror Patrick Reeves tells The Spokesman-Review someone would "have to be an idiot" not to realize Richardson simply forgot to pay.
Prosecutor Julie McKay didn't buy that. She says Richardson refused a deal to pay a $200 civil penalty and have the charge dropped.
Store officials declined to comment.