Defendants Convicted After Trial of Tampering with Physical Evidence, Theft by Unlawful Taking, and Unauthorized Practice of Law

On Tuesday, a Fayette County jury convicted James Joseph Gormley, III and Jennifer Jane Dunlap of Tampering with Physical Evidence, a Class D felony. The jury also found Dunlap guilty of Theft by Unlawful Taking and found Gormley guilty of Unauthorized Practice of Law.

On July 6, 2016, Jennifer Dunlap entered the Bryan Station Road Kroger with an empty cart and attempted to walk out with a Nutri-Ninja food processor, three packages of steaks, and a package of diet green tea, without paying. Kroger’s security measures activated, sounding an alarm and engaging brakes on the wheels of her cart, preventing her from leaving with the stolen goods. When Kroger management and loss-prevention officers confronted her, she showed them a receipt, claiming at various times that she’d just bought the items, or that she had in fact walked in with the food processor and intended to return it. Kroger employees testified that none of the items in her cart were on the receipt, and that the receipt was from a different Kroger, three days prior.

Dunlap asked to call an attorney, and called Gormley, her ex-boyfriend. Gormley, once a licensed attorney, was disbarred after being convicted of a felony. Gormley showed up alone, leading the police officer present to believe he was Dunlap’s attorney. He did not tell the officer otherwise. After asking to meet with Dunlap alone, Gormley was seen picking up the receipt and handing it to Dunlap, who folded it and placed it inside her shirt. Gormley then lied to the officer about having done so.

The jury recommended a two-year sentence for Dunlap on the Tampering charge, and the maximum five years for Gormley. Judge Pamela Goodwine set formal sentencing for June 23rd.  Prosecutors in the case were Katie Bouvier and Michael Barnett.

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