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BREAKING NEWS

Roberts strikes deal with county

By Staff | Oct 13, 2008

“I think our evidence was strong enough that he (Roberts) decided it was better for him to plea than go to trial.” — Brian Roverud county attorney

The last of four people charged in the theft of more than 30 guns from a Wells residence last November has settled his case.

The plea agreement reached Tuesday canceled a two-day trial scheduled Oct. 8-9 in Faribault County District Court.

Cody Michael Roberts, 19, of Wells pled guilty to second-degree burglary-possession of firearms.

Initially, he faced charges of first-degree burglary involving weapons and theft of firearms valued at $20,000 or more. Maximum penalties were 20 years in prison and fines of $35,000 and $100,000, respectively.

County Attorney Brian Roverud says the plea bargain has been in the works for a while with discussions being held with Roberts’ attorney, Robert Docherty of Mankato.

“I think our evidence was strong enough that he (Roberts) decided it was better for him to plea than go to trial,” Roverud says.

The county attorney says Roberts agreed to a 36-month prison sentence. He says a hearing probably will be held to decide whether restitution will be made to the victims.

Roverud says sentencing should take place in 30 days.

Roberts and three male juveniles were charged with stealing 35 guns from a garage of gun collector Danny Johnson.

The burglars made entry by breaking the locks on two doors where the guns were kept, court papers say.

Wells authorities valued the firearms taken at $30,000. Also stolen was ammunition and $600 in cash.

Roverud says the three juveniles are currently at facilities in Willmar and Worthington and are in various stages of their probation.