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Degroat pleads guilty to role in Muhlhausen burglary

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Ellsworth, 54011
Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

Timothy Degroat, 19, Ellsworth, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Pierce County Circuit Court to one count of burglary and one count of theft.

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The burglary stems from an April 5, 2006, incident in which Degroat, along with Cody Muhlhausen, Randy and Nick Ingli, and Aaron Diercks broke into then-Sheriff Everett Muhlhausen (Cody's father) and fiancée Barbara Fritz's house, and stole items belonging to the sheriff, including, guns, money, ammunition and jewelry, and belongings of the sheriff's first wife, Sue Ann, who died in 2004.

For their roles, Randy pled guilty and was already sentenced, Cody and Nick pled guilty and will both be sentenced March 1, while Diercks was acquitted of burglary Jan. 11.

The theft stems from an incident last September in which Degroat and Cody Muhlhausen lived in a camper parked in the cattle barn at the Pierce County Fairgrounds. Degroat was additionally charged with felony bail jumping and entry into/onto building/construction site/room. Those two charges were dismissed. Degroat was also charged with a felony forgery charge from last August. That charge was also dismissed.

Degroat's attorney, Warren Brandt, asked Judge Robert Wing that Degroat be allowed to work between now and the sentencing hearing due to family concerns (his father was laid off due to back problems and his mother is battling health issues). District Attorney John O'Boyle argued that, because he committed the forgery and the illegal entry onto the fairgrounds while he was on bond, he couldn't be trusted to gain and keep employment. Wing agreed. (Degroat has been in the Dunn County Jail in Menomonie for the last six months.)

The sentencing hearing was set for 9:30 a.m. April 23.

Degroat was previously convicted of disorderly conduct in 2004, three counts of seatbelt violations, racing on the highway and inattentive driving in 2005.

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