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Arsonists accused of grand theft

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Arsonists accused of grand theft
Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

Two area men who admitted to arson in April have also been charged with grand theft.

Allen Antaya, 21, of Platte, and Brandon Mehlbrech, 27, of Mitchell, are each separately charged with three counts of grand theft in Sanborn County for allegedly taking two tractors and a car without permission on Jan. 16. They each pleaded not guilty to the charges during their initial appearances in Sanborn County on June 10.

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Two grand theft charges each carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine, upon conviction. The third grand theft charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine, upon conviction.

The charges stem from an incident in January when the two men started a house on fire in Aurora County and went into Letcher and allegedly took the two tractors and the car.

Antaya and Mehlbrech pleaded guilty to second-degree arson in April and were sentenced June 11 convictions. They each received a suspended imposition of sentence, which means if they abide by all the rules of their probation period, they have the chance to clear the felonies from their records.

For the arson charge, Mehlbrech received a four-year probation term and 60 days in jail, with credit for one day served. He must write an apology letter to the victim whose house he destroyed. He was ordered to pay restitution to the victim, repay court-appointed attorney fees and was granted work release while he is in jail. Court documents state he has to pay $1,604 in court costs.

Antaya also received a four-year probation term and 60 days in jail, with credit for 24 days served. He must repay court appointed attorney fees, pay restitution to the victim and was granted work release while in jail. Court documents state he has to pay $1,604 in court costs.

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