YORK — A divorced couple appeared in York County District Court this week in burglaries they committed while married.
Jason Kotas, 39, changed his plea to no contest on charges of burglary and theft by receiving stolen property.
His ex-wife, Sheena Kotas, 29, who earlier pleaded no contest, was sentenced to probation for aiding and abetting burglary and theft by receiving stolen property.
The couple, formerly from Wilber, were arrested in December 2012. According to court documents, a farmer near Waco called 911 reporting that a neighbor had seen a strange pickup on a farmstead that he owns, along with illumination from two flashlights. The farmer followed the pickup.
When sheriff's deputies found the pickup, parked behind outbuildings on another farmstead, the driver sped off. The Nebraska State Patrol took over as the pursuit entered Seward County. The chase ended near Milford, where the Kotases were arrested.
Investigators said a large amount of stolen property was found in the pickup. At the time, there were 14 unsolved residential burglaries in Saline County, and footprints found at five of those scenes matched those found at the Waco farmstead.
Jason Kotas, who is serving a prison sentence in another case, will be sentenced Oct. 21.
He told Judge Patrick Mullen he broke into the unoccupied Waco farmhouse and “started boxing up some things I thought I could use.” Kotas said he was high on drugs.
Sheena Kotas has been participating in a drug accountability program in Seward County. Judge Patrick Mullen gave her 18 months of probation so she can finish that program. He told her that if she fails the program, she will face prison time.