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Woman involved in break-in

By Staff | Mar 3, 2013

Another person has been added to the list of Winnebago residents facing charges in connection with burglaries in five area cities.

Ashley Nylene Nichols, 20, of Winnebago made her first court appearance in Faribault County District Court on Monday.

She has been charged with second-degree burglary and theft.

The maximum penalty for each charge is 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

“I don’t expect any more arrests to be made, but more charges will be filed,” says County Attorney Troy Timmerman.

The prosecutor told Judge George Harrelson “some minimal bail is appropriate, just based on the charges.”

However, Timmerman says Nichols does not have a criminal history and is not aware she has failed to appear for any court hearings.

“Can you keep out of trouble if I release you without any bail?” Harrelson asked Nichols.

Harrelson decided to release Nichols on her promise to appear at future hearings and follow certain conditions, that include:

remain in contact with court officials;

no use of alcohol or mood-altering drugs;

random testing for drug use;

have no contact with witnesses or co-defendants.

“Stay away from the Diaz family,” Harrelson told Nichols.

Harrelson asked Nichols if her parents were in court and if she lived with them.

When she indicated they were and she did stay with them, Harrelson set another condition.

“I’m going to ask that you obey your parents. If you don’t, you are in trouble with the court system,” he says.

A court complaint says Nichols’ charges stem from an incident that occurred on Feb. 16.

According to court papers, Blue Earth police interviewed Nichols on Feb. 24 and she admitted driving Cody Diaz to a rest area near Electric Service Company in Blue Earth.

She reportedly waited there while Diaz loaded a company van with copper wire.

Nichols then followed Diaz to an out-of-town location, says the complaint, where the two transferred the wire into a car she was driving.

Court documents say the wire was taken and stored at a building owned by Diaz’s mother.

The complaint says Diaz and Nichols went to a residence and picked up Chase James to make a second trip to Electric Service to steal more items.

Meanwhile, the other five defendants, 24-year-old Cody Diaz; Chase James, 27; Tessa Anderson, 28; Anthony Paul Diaz, Sr., 56; and Anthony Paul Diaz, Jr., 35, in the case made a court appearance.

Cody Diaz, who has posted bail, appeared with his attorney Brian Roverud.

An uncontested omnibus hearing has been set for March 11.

Harrelson denied defense attorney requests to lower bails for Diaz, Sr. and Diaz, Jr., however, Anderson’s was reduced to $10,000 surety bond or $1,000 cash with conditions.

James had one bail set rather than having different amounts for three separate files. Harrelson set bail at $15,000 without conditions or $5,000 with conditions.

Defense attorney Phillip Elbert requested a one-hour contested omnibus hearing for James to challenge search warrant issues.

Uncontested omnibus hearings will be held for Diaz, Sr., Anderson and Diaz, Jr., today.