Caretaker denies drinking old whiskey at Pa. mansion, says it "evaporated"

Liquor bottles
File, AP

(CBS/AP) SCOTTDALE, Pa. - A former live-in caretaker of a southwestern Pennsylvania mansion accused of drinking 52 bottles of well-aged whiskey denied the allegations against him Wednesday, saying it wouldn't have been safe to drink and it "evaporated" instead.

So then he should get off scotch-free?

John Saunders, 63, issued the denial outside a district judge's courtroom, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. It came after his preliminary hearing on theft and other charges was postponed until May 15 so he could apply for a public defender.

Patricia Hill found the Old Farm Pure Rye Whiskey in a century-old Georgian mansion she bought last year and said an expert appraised it at more than $102,000.

Scottdale police charged Saunders with stealing the whiskey - by drinking it - after his DNA was found on some empty bottles.

Saunders said Hill is exaggerating the whiskey's value.

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March 26, 2013 - Caretaker stole, drank $100,000 worth of whiskey hidden in mansion walls, say Pa. police