All felony grant theft charges against Amy Joy Covin, the owner of the popular Amy’s Wicked Slush eatery, have been dropped and the case has been dismissed, according to Sonoma County’s case database portal.
The preliminary hearing for the case was held on Nov. 2 at 9 a.m. and was presided over by Judicial Officer Robert LaForge.
Covin was arrested on Aug. 6 for suspicion of felony grand theft. Her arrest came just days after a warrant for her arrest was issued on Aug. 1.
The arrest came about a week after a complaint was filed in Sonoma County Superior Court with prosecutors charging her with two felonies, grant theft of money, labor or property worth $400 or more and attempted grand theft property.
In an interview with SoCoNews, Covin said the original incident was not a theft, rather a misunderstanding of how to properly navigate the small claims court collection process.
“I had a small claims court judgment against a contractor and I collected incorrectly,” Covin said.
She said she didn’t realize there was one form and a particular process that she had missed when collecting from small claims court.
“And so the gentleman that owed me the money chose to file a police report and the D.A. (district attorney) chose to file charges of theft,” Covin said.
She said at first the incident seemed to be going in the wrong direction, but in the end, the courts have their own process to follow. She said it was a confusing process for her, especially since she’s never been on that side of “the system.”
Covin said she’s relieved that the charges have been dropped, although she thought that would eventually be the outcome.
“They offered plea bargains but I thought, ‘No, I didn't steal anything.’ I was thrilled when they had a change of heart and a change of course,” Covin said.
After her arrest in August, news of the incident sprang up in social media and across local news platforms. “It never even occurred to me (that) I was such a public figure, that it would hit the papers,” Covin said.
She said at the time, she had several summer employees, one of whom had to quit after their father insisted they leave. Covin said the situation was heartbreaking and that the narrative about her was hurtful.
Following her arrest, Covin put out a statement on the Amy’s Wicked Slush Facebook page regarding the incident.
In part, the statement reads, “While I cannot provide details of this unfortunate situation, I will say this: It has nothing to do with Wicked Slush or my former profession as a CPA. It is a personal matter, related to contractor work performed in the rebuilding of my home after losing it to a fire some years back. I have faith and trust in the due process of our court system, and I am cooperating fully in that process. The simple truth is always the best.”
She said while the situation may have been difficult, she has seen an outpouring of community support.
“I have a long history in this community both with my prior occupation and with Wicked. They jumped to my defense and that was really nice to see,” Covin said.
“In the fullness of time everything will come to light. And thankfully it did,” she said.