The prosecutor began his opening statement by asking, "Where's the beef?"--reprising the famous Wendy's tagline from the 1980s. He then convinced the jury that Mark Zachary, 51, had the beef--an $80 side of New York Strip--under his shirt as he was leaving a Reid's supermarket in Orangeburg, South Carolina.
Now Zachary is going to prison for ten years after being given the maximum sentence for shoplifting (third offense or greater).
According to the police report, Zachary fled when the store manager approached him about the bread-box sized side of beef under his shirt. That is, he fled directly into the path of an off-duty police officer, Kevin Dukes, who was entering the store.
On the stand during his two-day trial, Zachary denied he was stealing the meat, arguing that he was merely "massaging it."
The Aug. 26, 2009 incident was Zachary's ninth offense.