Aaron Kirts, 28, of North Platte, facing auto theft charges, pleaded no contest Tuesday to criminal impersonation in exchange for a considerable bond reduction, as well as the dismissal of two other charges. On Aug. 12, Kirts was charged for receiving stolen property and being a habitual criminal when North Platte police contacted him in connection to a series of car thefts from a Lincoln dealership.
Both those charges were dropped as part of his plea agreement.
Kirts’ attorney Pat Hays noted that Kirts has been locked up since the offense and asked for a substantial bond reduction.
Prosecutor Tonya Roberts-Connick expressed concern. She noted that Kirts has been characterized as a repeat offender, but wasn’t opposed to a bond reduction so long as he reports daily to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office.
Judge Donald Rowlands reduced Kirts’ bond from 10 percent of $12,500 down to 10 percent of $2,500 and ordered Kirts to return for sentencing Dec. 12.
Stolen keys, stolen car
According to officer Katie Flood of the Lincoln police, on Aug. 9 an employee arrived at Car Mart (5580 Cornhusker Highway) in Lincoln and discovered someone had entered the building in the middle of the night and stolen 28 sets of keys to cars in the lot. Five cars were missing, two of which were found in North Platte, Flood said.
According to court records, Kirts was arrested when police found him driving one of the stolen cars in the North Platte area. Kirts gave the arresting officer a fake name, date of birth and social security number, records say, meriting the criminal impersonation conviction.
In July 2004, Kirts was charged for burglarizing Larry’s Glass and Edward’s Surveying in North Platte. He posted bond after he was bound over to district court, but was rearrested just two days later. The second time, he was jailed for pointing an SKS rifle at someone.
Methamphetamine was found on his person during arrest, according to North Platte police.
Barraclough's bond remains the same
Austen Barraclough, 19, of North Platte was denied a bond reduction by Judge James Doyle after Barraclough pleaded no contest to meth distribution. In exchange, a child abuse charge was dismissed.
Barraclough was arrested Aug. 12 after police determined he introduced a minor female to methamphetamine just weeks after he’d completed residential drug treatment.
In court Tuesday, defense attorney Russ Jones requested a bond reduction.
Jones said Barraclough is a lifelong resident of North Platte and isn’t a flight risk. Jones also noted that this is Barraclough’s first felony charge.
County attorney Rebecca Harling opposed the reduction due to Barraclough’s history of run-ins with the law during a short time period. She said Barraclough was on probation for a series of burglary charges prior to the latest offense.
“Fresh out of treatment, he landed himself smack-dab in the middle of the drug world again,” Harling told Doyle.
Doyle denied the bond reduction and ordered Barraclough to return for sentencing on Dec. 12. Barraclough’s bond remains at $50,000.
All charges in the burglary case were also dismissed, according to court records.