After hearing four days of testimony and five hours of deliberation on Friday, a 12-person jury found former Keith County Attorney Blake Edwards guilty of one count of theft by unlawful taking, $1,500 or more.
Edwards was found not guilty on two additional charges: theft by unlawful taking, $1,500 or more; and theft by unlawful taking, more than $500 but less than $1,500.
Edwards, who served as Keith County Attorney from January 2007 through December 2010, was arrested Jan. 24, 2011, on three counts of theft by unlawful taking.
The charges were filed after a three-and-a-half month investigation by the Nebraska State Patrol that alleged Edwards mishandled money from the county diversion fund, of which he was in sole control, while serving as Keith County Attorney from March 2007 until January 2009.
Count III, the count on which Edwards was found guilty, alleges that on or about Jan. 20, 2009, Edwards wrote a check for $3,681 to the Ogallala Trap Team, closing out an account for the Keith County Diversion Program.
The state said that money belonged to Keith County.
District Judge James Doyle set Edwards’ sentencing for 10 a.m. Aug. 15 in the Keith County courtroom.
Theft by unlawful taking, $1,500 or more, is a Class III felony and punishable by a minimum of one year imprisonment and a maximum of 20 years imprisonment, a $25,000 fine or both.