BEATRICE – A second defendant has been convicted in a burglary last January, of Nick’s Shell Convenience store in Beatrice.
20-year-old Austin Watts, of Pawnee City pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of attempted burglary, as part of a plea agreement. Beatrice Police said Watts entered the business in the 900-block of Court Street.
Deputy Gage County Attorney Michael Wehling said police were called January 29th, at around 6 a.m., to a reported burglary of the store. A lock on the front door had been broken, and someone had entered the store. Wehling said store surveillance video helped identify the suspects.
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A police resource officer also identified Watts in the video. Police obtained a search warrant for an Ella Street residence where Watts and the other defendant lived.
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Authorities also recovered bags used to carry the stolen items and some ice cream that also was stolen. Police later gained a confession from Watts.
Gage County District Judge Rick Schreiner ordered a pre-sentence investigation and scheduled sentencing for February 7th. Both the state and defense are recommending a sentence of probation. The conviction carries a possible prison term of up to three years, with 9 to 18 months post-release supervision.
Last June, Michael Grant was sentenced in Gage County District Court to a two-year term of probation for aiding and abetting a burglary.
Authorities say Grant served as the lookout during the crime.