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Man pleads not guilty in theft of Frost items

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — A Vermont man pleaded not guilty Monday to a charge that he stole a number of original cards and letters written by poet Robert Frost that were in the drawer of a desk that was donated to the nonprofit agency where he worked and then sold them for more than $25,000 in cash and other goods.

Timothy Bernaby, 42, was arrested Friday after being spotted by law enforcement officers while in the White River Junction courthouse on an unrelated matter. He is free on $5,000 bail and declined comment as he left the courthouse Monday.

An expert on Frost from Dartmouth College in nearby Hanover, N.H., told police the documents, which include 13 Christmas poems by Frost and a letter to an employee of Dartmouth, estimated they would not be worth more than $2,600.

The documents remain in the possession of the person who purchased them allegedly from Mr. Bernaby, said Windsor County State’s Attorney Robert Sand.

“Police are in contact with the person who has the documents,” Mr. Sand said. “The purchaser declined to produce them having spent a fair amount of money to acquire them and was reluctant to turn them over to the police until he was compensated for the purchase price.”

Mr. Sand said the original owner of the documents does want them back.

From wire dispatches and staff reports