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Archive for Monday, January 6, 2014

Judge orders probation, drug treatment for woman in burglary case

January 6, 2014

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A Lawrence woman who said addiction to methamphetamine drove her participation in a string of storage-unit thefts asked to be sent to rehab Monday during her sentencing hearing.

Douglas County District Court Judge Peggy Kittel sentenced Cori D. Nehrbass, 34, to a year of probation beginning with inpatient drug treatment. Nehrbass, who pleaded no contest to one count of felony theft and one count of misdemeanor theft in the case, also will be required to pay restitution to victims.

Nehrbass, who said she had children, apologized for her crimes and said if granted another chance she would become a productive member of society.

“I know I’ve been in the courtroom quite a few times now,” she said. “I’ve sat in jail and thought about my wrongs for a while now. I would just like a second chance.”

The judge told Nehrbass her apology would not change anything for the victims but that it was important to get her addiction under control to stop criminal behavior in the future.

Nehrbass is one of four co-defendants in the spring 2013 storage-unit burglary case, assistant district attorney Jim McCabria said.

“The number of crimes that were all related to this group of individuals are pretty extensive for Douglas County,” McCabria said.

Suspects allegedly backed rented moving trucks up to storage units and emptied them after cutting the locks, taking so much property that they — and, after seizing it, police — had trouble finding places to store it. When charges were filed, police estimated the value of stolen furniture, electronics, sports memorabilia and other property to be about $77,000.

Co-defendant Jacob P. Paine was sentenced in October for his role in the burglary ring. Cases against Travis M. Darrow and Cheri L. Sponholtz are ongoing.

Nehrbass’ probation stipulates she have no contact with co-defendants, including Darrow, who is her fiance, Nehrbass’ attorney Branden Smith said. Kittel said the no-contact order would stand, at least until Darrow’s case is finalized and a probation officer can review the terms.

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