Husband pleads to selling stolen jewelry from senior living facility

Published 10:13 am Friday, October 7, 2011

An Austin man who reportedly pawned more than $3,000 of stolen jewelry with his wife pleaded guilty in Mower County District Court in exchange for the dismissal of three charges.

Dustin Richard Leidall, 30, pleaded guilty in court Thursday to being an accessory to second-degree burglary. Three felony burglary charges and one felony theft charge were dismissed as part of Leidall’s plea deal.

His wife, Marissa Marie Tuttle, 22, pleaded not guilty to all charges in August. She is scheduled for a jury trial in November.

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According to the plea agreement, Leidall will not receive further jail time for the offense. However, he will be responsible for restitution on all criminal counts, including dismissed charges.

According to a court complaint, an Austin police detective was investigating a string of jewelry thefts at The Cedars in Austin when he discovered Tuttle, a CNA who works there, was working the shifts during the hours of the thefts.

When officers entered Tuttle’s name into the Automated Pawn System, they found she sold two rings at Pawn America in Rochester in June. Leidall sold 42 pieces of jewelry, totaling more than $3,600, between June and July, according to the court complaint.

Police spoke with a Pawn America employee who remembered Leidall, saying his girlfriend got the jewelry at a nursing home lost and found. Another employee remembered him saying he had “gotten lucky” when he purchased an abandoned storage unit.

Leidall told police he and Tuttle had been pawning jewelry Tuttle had gotten from a “free table” at work.

Tuttle was allegedly carrying five Oxycodone pills and seven Hydrocodone pills at the time of her arrest. More than 100 pieces of jewelry were seized from her vehicle, according to a court complaint.

Court documents also indicate Tuttle initially denied stealing medication from her patients, but later said she took pills from someone’s room when she couldn’t find any jewelry.

Tuttle admitted to telling Leidall she found the jewelry on a free table. He said he was suspicious but didn’t question her because of money troubles, according to a court complaint.

Police had the jewelry appraised at Bendixen Jewelers, where the pieces were determined to be worth at least $6,000. The jewelry was taken from at least five victims, according to a court complaint.

Leidall is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 10.