Two Washington County residents are charged with first-degree burglary after authorities say they broke into a neighbor’s home last Monday and stole a cat.
Bernard Martin Maness, 62, and Nicole Elaine Shaw, 34, both of Mineral Point, have been charged by Washington County Prosecuting Attorney Joshua Hedgecorth with first-degree burglary and felony stealing.
According to probable cause statements from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Maness and Shaw, who have the same address, were inside a neighbor's residence when they were confronted by the neighbor’s mother and fled the residence.
Later that day, Washington County Sheriff’s Det. Ethan Haworth, Deputy Spenser Gibson, and Lt. Randall Martin arrived at the residence of Maness and Shaw and inquired about what had happened earlier that morning. Maness stated that he went into the neighboring trailer to retrieve DVDs. They asked Maness if they could speak inside and asked about the location of Shaw, who was in a back room of the residence, according to the statements.
When Shaw came out of the backroom, she and Maness were asked again about what they were doing in the neighbor’s residence to which they said they went in to retrieve a kitten. When asked where the kitten was, Shaw retrieved it from the back room where she was located. The kitten was identified by the victim as belonging to her. The victim also stated that she did not give the defendant's permission to remove the kitten from the residence.
At first, Shaw told Haworth that she did not enter the residence. She then said they were in the residence to retrieve movies. She then said they went in to retrieve a cat that was not being cared for properly. Later, at the jail, Shaw stated that they had entered the residence to find drugs.
Shaw and Maness were booked in the Washington County Jail and a bond was set for $25,000 for both individuals. Maness bonded out Tuesday.
Both Maness and Shaw have prior criminal histories.
According to court records, earlier this year, Maness was allegedly involved in an assault that occurred at his residence. He has been charged in the past with giving false information to a peace officer, felony stealing, second-degree burglary, misdemeanor stealing, and DWI-persistent offender.
Shaw was arrested in 2014 for stealing and burglary. In 2013, Shaw was involved with a forgery case in Potosi and was also arrested at Potosi Walmart for stealing that same year. Shaw also has been charged in the past with endangering the welfare of a child in the first degree, abuse of a child, tampering with a motor vehicle, second-degree burglary, theft, and stealing of a firearm.
If found guilty of the burglary, the pair face up to 15 years in prison.