By Misha Berman
In Department 7 on June 7, 2016, during the afternoon, both Deputy District Attorney Kyle Hasapes and Deputy Public Defender Dean Johansson presented their closing arguments in the trial of Defendant Lloyd Reber.
Mr. Hasapes was the first attorney to present his closing argument. He set up an overhead projector that he used to define terms and to show surveillance video. He then explained what he thought this case was about, which was, in his view, being responsible for one’s actions as well as being accountable for one’s actions.
Mr. Hasapes then talked about how in our society he thinks that people like to make excuses and blame other people when they do something wrong, instead of taking personal responsibility.
“He needs to be held accountable. There was an agreement to go to Walmart and shoplift two to three days before Christmas. “’Ms. S’ and the defendant (Mr. Reber) were planning to shoplift,” said Mr. Hasapes.
Hasapes described Ms. S’ and Mr. Reber’s shoplifting as a “sophisticated crime.” He then explained that shoplifting is so hard to catch because it is so “sophisticated.” He then went on and defined the terms “aiding and abetting.”
“Aiding and abetting is when a person gives assistance to aid the person committing the crime,” described Mr. Hasapes.
Mr. Hasapes then explained what Mr. Reber allegedly did. He explained that Reber went into Walmart when they were open, and he stressed that Reber was there to take something. Mr. Hasapes then pointed out that a person can be guilty of theft even if they don’t steal the item – the fact that their intention was to steal the item makes them guilty of theft.
“Theft is when you take something without the owner’s consent. Intent to deprive the owner of the belonging. The defendant knew the perpetrator intended to commit the crime,” said Hasapes.
Mr. Hasapes then explained how someone who is “aiding or abetting” someone to shoplift can only be guilty if they know that the person is going somewhere to steal. He then explained that Mr. Reber knew that Ms. S was going to shoplift. He then tried to prove his point that Reber was allegedly going to shoplift by showing the jury the surveillance footage.
Hasapes explained while showing the footage that Mr. Reber allegedly saw all the things Ms. S put into the shopping cart. He then explained what Mr. Reber allegedly took, which were, according to Mr. Hasapes, a pajama shirt, a women’s pajama set, stockings and other items.
“He also saw items that were not paid for. He saw the tags being switched and he is clearly looking at her and not surprised or dumbfounded. She is removing packaging of items. He is handing items to her at the self-checkout line,” said Hasapes.
Mr. Hasapes concluded with saying that calling Mr. Reber guilty is not a judgment on his character. Hasapes added that he thinks that Mr. Reber messed up and he needs to deal with the consequences of that mistake.
“We see by all these facts that he did know what she was doing and (was) also aiding/abetting. He is also the perpetrator. He intended to commit the crime because he called Ms. S because he knows she is good at shoplifting,” asserted Mr. Hasapes.
When Mr. Johansson first stood up to make his closing argument he countered Mr. Hasapes’ point about this case being about taking responsibility, and said that instead he felt this case is about turning innocent behavior into criminal behavior.
“When we go through evidence we find that Mr. Reber did not show up until later. The first thing we saw was Ms. S in the women’s section switching tags off of pants,” said Mr. Johansson.
Johansson then explained that Reber was not present during the time Ms. S was in the women’s section. He then explained that he had called Ms. S and asked to go Christmas shopping. He also pointed out that he thinks Ms. S, who is Mr. Reber’s wife, is really the guilty one.
“If these people are so sophisticated why would you tear open a package and bounce the hoop in an aisle. Who wants to be held responsible for their spouse’s actions?” asked Mr. Johansson.
Mr. Johansson then pointed out that Mr. Reber knew that his wife was addicted to drugs and he needed to remove his kids from the environment. He then explained that Ms. S tearing the packing off an item is an example of her impulsive and unpredictable behavior, due to her being addicted to drugs.
“This is not an aiding and abetting situation, what we have here is a father wanting to do Christmas shopping while his wife is going around shoplifting and has drug issues,” stated Mr. Johansson.
Mr. Hasapes then offered rebuttal to Mr. Johansson’s closing argument by saying that he is using facts to determine whether Mr. Reber is guilty or not, while Mr. Johansson was not using facts. He then implied that Reber’s wife is irrelevant to this case and should not have been brought up. He then said that the video footage is proof that Mr. Reber knew of Ms. S’ intent to shoplift and was assisting her because, according to Mr. Hasapes, Mr. Reber’s behavior was typical behavior of someone who is shoplifting with someone.
“He showed that receipt because he knows the store clerk will remove the tag so the alarm won’t go off because if the alarm went off he is screwed,” asserted Mr. Hasapes.
The judge then explained to the jury the rules and steps of deliberating. He then dismissed the jury to deliberate the case.