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After initially pleading not guilty, one of the three cattle theft suspects changed her plea in Antelope County District Court on Wednesday.
Rebecca M. (Bree) Robbins, 22, formerly of Antelope County, pleaded no contest and was adjudged guilty on three charges of criminal attempt-theft by unlawful taking (Class IV felonies). Pursuant to a plea agreement, two of her counts were reduced from the original class III felonies to class IV felonies, in exchange for her no contest plea. A correction was also noted during her court appearance, indicating that some of the stolen cattle were owned by Greg Todd, not just Wilber Rakow as originally thought.
Judge Mark Johnson set her sentencing for December 17. Robbins, who is being represented by court-appointed attorney Jeff Doerr, remains incarcerated in the Antelope County Jail. Her $100,000 bond was continued.
Her co-defendants, Benjamin Johnson, 27, of St. Edward, and Erick Dummitt, 26, of Bellevue, also appeared in district court on Wednesday.
Johnson appeared with his court-appointed attorney, Pat Carney. Antelope County Attorney Joe Abler filed a motion to endorse witnesses in the case and the motion was sustained. Johnson is being held in the Antelope County Jail on a $15,000 bond.
Dummitt made his first district court appearance on Wednesday with his court-appointed attorney Ron Temple. During his arraignment, Dummitt pleaded not guilty to theft by unlawful taking (Class III felony); and criminal attempt-theft by unlawful taking (Class IV felony). His pretrial conference was set for December 17. He has been released from jail on 10 percent of a $20,000 bond.
According to a probable cause affidavit, 35 cows and 40 calves were taken from Wilber Rakow's property 7 1/2 miles east of Highway 14 and 854 Road (Pierce/Neligh Road) on June 25 and later located in Platte County. Once the cattle were located, immediate arrangements were made to return the cattle to Rakow.
Robbins, Johnson and Dummitt allegedly attempted to load the cattle on May 19. When that attempt failed, the cattle were then loaded onto trucks on June 25.
Antelope County Sheriff Bob Moore said Lawrence and Linda Klink of Columbus paid $16,000 in cash and check installments to Robbins over several weeks and intended to purchase 80 cattle. During a phone conversation, Johnson admitted to Moore that he assisted in loading the cattle but believed they belonged to Robbins.