Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

Local News

May 31, 2011

One of two men sentenced for theft from Centerville grain dealer

CENTERVILLE — One of two men accused of stealing soybeans from a plant in Centerville he then sold to a facility in Illinois pleaded guilty in the Appanoose County Courthouse to a reduced charge.

Bert Lee Neukirch, 35, of Beatrice, Neb., originally charged with first degree theft and conspiracy to commit a felony, pleaded guilty to the reduced charge of third degree theft, an aggravated misdemeanor.

Judge Kirk A. Daily May 13 sentenced Neukirch to 30 days in jail, suspended, a $65 fine, two years in state prison, suspended to two years probation to the court, no supervision. Neukirch agreed to pay $15,590.93 in restitution to Smith Grain and Fertilizer, the facility in Centerville where the thefts allegedly occurred.

Judge Daily May 13 dismissed the charge of conspiracy to commit a felony against Neukirch.

First degree theft is a class C felony and conspiracy to commit a felony is a class D felony.

Neukirch in September of 2010 filed a notice with the court that he had moved to Beatrice, Neb. At the time of his arrest, Neukirch listed Kansas City, Kan. as his address.

A second man allegedly involved in the theft, Shannon Todd Walters, 40, of Novinger, Mo., was also charged with first degree theft and conspiracy to commit a felony.

The last document in his case file dated Jan. 11 states a pretrial conference was held and the defendant requested a trial, which was scheduled for April 26 at 9:30 a.m. The document states no additional pretrial conferences would be held.

Appanoose County Attorney Richard Scott alleges Neukirch and Walters on March 5 and March 6, 2009, stole a total of 1,788 bushels of soybeans, valued at $15,590.93, from Smith Grain and Fertilizer in Centerville. On both occasions Scott alleges the men sold the beans to Gardner Expressway in Quincy, Ill.

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