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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Man guilty of tampering with RMU meter

  • It took a Phelps County jury of seven men and five women less than an hour to find a Rolla man guilty Thursday of tampering with a Rolla Municipal Utilities (RMU) meter last year. Recardo Graham, 26, had been charged with second-degree tampering. He could face up to a year in jail, a $1,000 fine or a combination of jail time and a fine.
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  • It took a Phelps County jury of seven men and five women less than an hour to find a Rolla man guilty Thursday of tampering with a Rolla Municipal Utilities (RMU) meter last year.
    Recardo Graham, 26, had been charged with second-degree tampering. He could face up to a year in jail, a $1,000 fine or a combination of jail time and a fine.
    According to the Phelps County prosecutor’s office, during the one-day trial, Assistant Prosecutor Brad Neckermann presented evidence that showed Graham resided in a Rolla residence, where the electricity had been turned off by RMU after no payment was received on the account.
    About six days after the meter to the home had been shut down, RMU officials discovered that the meter had been reconnected by a metal wire.
    Two witnesses from RMU stated they believed that the meter had been tampered with sometime between Aug. 21-27, 2013.
    Officer Leann Robertson of the Rolla Police Department investigated the case and questioned the occupant of the residence. During questioning Graham admitted knowing the meter had been tampered with and admitted he was responsible for paying all of the bills at that residence, according to the prosecutor’s office.
    Graham denied, however, that he had been the one to tamper with the meter, the prosecutor’s office stated.
    In his closing statement, Neckermann stressed to the jury that only Graham had the motive to illegally tamper with the utilities.
    After the verdict, Neckermann said, “I think the jury’s verdict demonstrates that in this community we expect all citizens to play by the rules. We can’t have people like Mr. Graham sidestepping the law and using utilities for free because that results in higher rates for everyone else.”
    Reached for comment, Phelps County Prosecutor John Beger said, “I am pleased with the guilty verdict in this case, and I congratulate Brad and Officer Robertson for a job well done.”  
    Associate Circuit Judge Ronald D. White presided over the trial. Graham’s sentencing has been set for Wednesday, June 18.  

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