ROCKLAND — A West Gardiner man was acquitted Thursday on charges that he passed fake $100 bills last year at two Knox County convenience stores.

Scott D. Darville, 56, was found not guilty Dec. 5 by Justice Bruce Mallonee after a one-day jury-waived trial in Knox County Superior Court.

Darville had been charged with two counts of aggravated forgery and two counts of theft, all Dec. 16, 2018. One of the incidents occurred at the Four Corner Variety store in Union, the other at the Jackson Country Store in Washington. In both cases, Darville made a small purchase and received cash back.

Assistant District Attorney Lynn Madison said he was disappointed with the outcome but said there were issues with the case.

In one of the incidents, the store owner in Union spotted the $100 bill as fake and gave it back to Darville who immediately lit the paper on fire and destroyed the evidence. Police were called, and he was apprehended a short distance later and issued a summons. Police said at the time that Darville claimed he had gotten the bill from someone else.

Earlier that day, the owner of the Washington store discovered a fake $100 bill in the register. A review of video from the store showed Darville there and paying with a bill. The clerk remembered Darville using a $100 bill.

The prosecutor acknowledged that the state was unable to prove that the fake bill in the register was the same one that Darville had used.

Darville did not testify at the trial.

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