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A Wisconsin cemetery worker who stole a guitar out of a casket could face up to 10 years in prison. Steven Conrad, 40, pled no contest to the theft last week.
Conrad pilfered the expensive musical instrument, a Fender Telecaster valued at around $2,000, out of the grave of a man named Randall Jourdan.
Jourdan had requested to be buried with his beloved instrument, which he called his "pride and joy." The deceased had played guitars for more than 40 years, according to investigators.
Conrad allegedly saw the guitar in September and told a mausoleum groundskeeper that it was "too expensive to be in a crypt." The stolen cream-colored guitar was found at Conrad's home the next day, reports Reuters.
The cemetery worker will be sentenced in January over his crime.
Under Wisconsin law, theft of property occurs when someone takes an individual's property without permission. In order for an action to amount to theft, the thief must intend to permanently deprive the owner of their item. Punishments for the crime may vary depending on certain circumstances.
Specifically, if the property is taken from someone's body, including a corpse, the perpetrator is guilty of a Class G felony (punishable by a prison term of up to 10 years, and a fine of up to $25,000.
Since the cemetery worker took the guitar out of Jourdan's grave, he essentially stole it off a corpse. That's why Steven Conrad can be facing multiple years in jail for his crime. Ultimately, it will be up to a judge to figure out what sentence is appropriate within the statutory maximum.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.