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Wisconsin man pleads no contest to stealing guitar from casket

MILWAUKEE (Reuters) - A Wisconsin man has pleaded no contest to stealing a cream-colored Fender Telecaster electric guitar from a casket in September.

The guitar had been laid upon the body of Randall Jourdan, who wished to be buried with his "pride and joy," according to the complaint.

Jourdan was a guitar player for more than 40 years, family members told investigators.

Steven Conard, 40, was working at the Allouez Catholic Cemetery and Chapel Mausoleum near Green Bay when he was accused of stealing the guitar on September 23. He entered his no contest plea in Brown County Circuit Court on Monday.

"That's a Telly, a really expensive guitar. I have to have that guitar. It's too expensive to be in a crypt," Conard allegedly told a mausoleum groundskeeper, according to the criminal complaint filed against him.

The guitar was recovered from Conard's home the next day, the complaint said.

Conard will be sentenced in January. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien; Editing by David Bailey and Jerry Norton)

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