MERRIMACK, N.H. (AP) – A mother accused of using her 5-year-old daughter to help her steal jewelry from a store’s display case pleaded not guilty Monday to endangering the welfare of a child.

Police said a surveillance tape taken Aug. 2 showed Mildred Stanley directing her daughter to take items from the display cases at a Bedford consignment shop.

Stanley, 26, of Manchester, was previously arraigned on two charges related to an alleged theft at the shop; she also pleaded guilty Monday to an unrelated drug charge. She is scheduled to return to court next month.

Stanley’s lawyer, Stephen Kasmar, said there are two ways of looking at the tape. He said Stanley was telling the child to get out from behind the counter and not to take anything. Police said more than $2,000 in jewelry was taken from the store.

“I’m just hoping that there is an audio portion of the tape so you can see that what looks like gestures in one way may be something else, based on what is being said to the children,” he said.

Prosecutors said they’re not sure if there is an audio portion to the tape.


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