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Probation revoked, prison sentence for man who stole side mirrors, cop’s lights

August 26, 2018 GMT

MADISON — A 20-year-old Fremont man was sentenced in Madison County District Court here Friday to a prison term after violating his probation by committing arson.

Almost one year ago to the day, Zachary Wanamaker of Fremont previously was sentenced to 24 months of probation and a 90-day suspended jail sentence for his role in breaking off side mirrors from vehicles and for stealing two spotlights and an emergency light bar from two state patrol cruisers in 2016.

Wanamaker, 20, was back in court Friday to be sentenced for a probation violation on the underlying charge of theft by unlawful taking.

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According to court records, there were at least nine reports of car vandalisms in Norfolk in October 2016, in which the side mirrors were broken off and some gas tank lids were bent or broken.

Around that same time, two Nebraska State Patrol cruisers had their mounted spotlights stolen, and one cruiser had the top-mount emergency light bar stolen.

Multiple witnesses told the state patrol that Wanamaker had bragged about the vandalisms and thefts and had even texted photos of the lights and “cop car cherries” to several people.

Wanamaker was transported to Madison from the Nebraska Department of Corrections, where is he serving a four-year term for his role in several arsons in Dodge County earlier this year.

Deputy Madison County Attorney Matthew Kiernan said Wanamaker “has a zeal for destruction.”

Kiernan recommended a term of six months of incarceration to be served concurrently to the prison term Wanamaker is now serving.

Wanamaker’s attorney, Chelsey Hartner with the Madison County Public Defender’s office, said alcohol was a factor in her client’s most recent conviction.

“He was under the influence when the arsons were committed,” Hartner said.

Hartner said she agreed that a six-month incarceration was a fair term and asked that it be served concurrently, or at the same time, with his current prison term.

When given the chance to address the court, Wanamaker apologized.

“I just want to apologize to the community for my disrespect for the law. I just want to also apologize to my family,” he said.

Judge Mark Johnson told Wanamaker that the court’s hands were tied due to his recent criminal activities.

“You were given an opportunity at probation. Apparently, you are just not capable of controlling your behavior. I don’t know if it’s youth or addiction, but you’d better get a hold, or you’re going to find yourself not having a very decent life,” Johnson said.

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He then revoked Wanamaker’s probation and sentenced him to six months at the Nebraska Department of Corrections, to be served consecutive to, or following, his current sentence on the arson cases.

Wanamaker was given credit for three days served. Assuming he loses none of his good time, Wanamaker is eligible for mandatory release after just shy of 90 days.

Johnson also ordered Wanamaker to pay $5,633.52 in restitution. He was originally ordered to pay $6,534.52, but he has made $901 in payments since his 2017 sentence.

Johnson also sentenced others on the following charges

Possession of methamphetamine

— Matthew Hunter, 45, 1109 S. Fourth St., 30 months of probation, 90 days in jail with credit for 52 days served to be served before the end of probation unless waived, costs.

— Thomas Scdoris, 42, no address listed, one year in the Nebraska Department of Corrections with credit for 101 days served, 12 months of post-release supervision, costs.

Assault

— Lester Drake, 19, Norfolk third-degree assault, false information, minor in possession, 270 days in jail, $500 fine, costs.

Probation violation

— Manuel Delaolla, 21, Madison, probation violation on prior charge of attempted possession of methamphetamine, probation continued with six months added, 48 hours in jail.

— Kristie Koch, 24, Butte, probation violation on prior charge of second-degree forgery, probation revoked, 180 days in jail with credit for 11 days served.

— Michael Garver, 33, Norfolk, probation violation on prior charge of possession of methamphetamine, probation revoked, 128 days in jail with credit for 128 days served, $3,000 fine.