Owner of Jeweler's Bench pleads not guilty to ordinance violations

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Owner of Jeweler's Bench pleads not guilty to ordinance violations

Published Thursday, November 8, 2012   |  365 Words  |  

A Beaufort jewelry shop owner plans to fight accusations that he violated the city's precious-metals ordinance after police reported finding dozens of items linked to local burglaries in his store in September.

David Kinard, owner of the Jeweler's Bench on Carteret Street, was not at a plea hearing Thursday at the Beaufort City Courthouse, but his lawyer pleaded not guilty on his behalf and requested that his client receive a jury trial. Municipal Court Judge Ned Tupper presided.

Kinard, 55, was issued five citations by Beaufort police officers Sept. 26 for failing to report transactions to law enforcement, failure to identify sellers, failing to photograph purchased property, failing to retain records and failing to keep items at least 10 days before melting them down or selling them, according to court records.

"We're seeking additional information from law enforcement on the charges," defense attorney Robert Ferguson Jr. said after the hearing. He declined to elaborate.

If convicted of all five citations, Kinard could lose his license to buy and sell precious metals, receive a fine of as much as $2,500 and a jail sentence of as long as 180 days, according to the city ordinance.

Court records indicate this isn't the first time Kinard has run into trouble with rules related to business licenses.

Kinard was fined $1,062 and sentenced to 30 days in jail a decade ago after pleading guilty to operating Carteret King and Custom Design Jewelers without a business license, according to a news release from the S.C. Department of Revenue published Dec. 4, 2002. The business was run from the same building as the Jeweler's Bench.

The sentence was handed down after he was arrested three times for the same violation within a year, according to court records and the release.

A sign posted on the store Thursday said the shop would be closed until Monday. Attempts Thursday to reach Kinard for comment were unsuccessful.

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