Defendant in Glenn Gould Document Trial Gets Split Verdict

Classic Arts News   Defendant in Glenn Gould Document Trial Gets Split Verdict
Barbara Moore, the 62-year Texan woman charged with illegally possessing Glenn Gould memorabilia, was found guilty of two misdemeanor counts of criminal possession of stolen property on October 24, reports the Associated Press. The New York jury acquitted her of two felony counts of grand larceny.

The verdict was reportedly reached after 12 hours of deliberations over two days. Some jurors thought Moore was guilty of all charges but that prosecutors had failed to prove their case, according to the AP; others reportedly felt sorry for her.

Juror Marty New, a documentary filmmaker, voted to convict Moore of the felony charges; the AP quotes him as saying, "She was trying to get away with something. She was a smart woman. This was very much a compromise verdict."

The New York Times writes that other jurors said they were "reluctant to send a gray-haired woman with a cat and not much money to jail over what appeared to be scribbles that most people would have crumpled up and thrown in the trash."

The AP quotes Moore's lawyer, Shane Michael Brooks, as calling the verdict "a huge victory ... They exonerated her completely of the larceny. They convicted her of the lowest possible thing they could have convicted her of."

Moore was initially charged with third-degree criminal possession of stolen property, fourth-degree grand larceny and third-degree attempted grand larceny.

Moore faces up to a year in jail, but Brooks will ask for probation; she is currently free on $5,000 bail and will be sentenced on December 13, according to the AP.

Moore, a 62-year-old college professor, was arrested last May on charges of possessing stolen items that had once belonged to Gould and are now worth thousands of dollars, including photographs, books, compositions, audio and video recordings, letters and personal items of Gould's such as hats and gloves.

Moore's lawyer said the Gould items in his client's possession were uncatalogued materials given to her legally by Stephen Willis, the late curator of the the Canadian Library's Glenn Gould archives in Ottawa, but a judge asserted that the accession stamps found on many of the items indicated they had been made a permanent part of the Canadian Library's collection.

The story came to light when Moore sold a few of the Gould items to New York dealer Roger Gross, who was reportedly unaware the items were stolen, in December 2004. A Gould researcher in British Columbia spotted the items for sale on the Internet and alerted the police last December. The New York Police Department's Cyber Crimes Unit recovered the stolen items and referred the case to the Manhattan district attorney's office.

Gould, the legendary Canadian pianist whose work is preserved on such discs as his two iconic versions of Bach's Goldberg Variations, was born in 1932 and died in 1982 at age 50 in Toronto.

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