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Two warrants out for Mitchell man who allegedly stole propane truck

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A Mitchell man accused of stealing a propane truck from Mitchell Technical Institute has two warrants out for his arrest and has not been in contact with his attorney.

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According to court documents, Kelly Jo Watts, 26, has been indicted for grand theft and intentional property damage.

Detective Lt. Don Everson, of the Mitchell Police Division, said the charges stem from an incident when Watts allegedly stole a propane truck from MTI. Alcohol is a factor in the case, Everson added.

Law enforcement reported that between June 28 and June 29 the truck was taken and later crashed in Bon Homme County. When Watts allegedly stole the truck, he drove through a chainlink fence on MTI's campus.

A warrant for Watts' arrest was issued July 18 after a Davison County grand jury indicted him for grand theft and intentional property damage. Each charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine upon conviction.

Watts was also supposed to appear in court Tuesday to be sentenced on a third-degree burglary conviction for a crime unrelated to the propane truck incident. He was apparently injured when the propane truck crashed and was in the hospital, which may be why he did not appear in court Tuesday, according to authorities.

His attorney, Doug Papendick, said in court Tuesday he hasn't had contact with Watts or the hospital, and hasn't heard whether Watts has been released from the hospital.

"I'd like some time to try to contact him and I ask for a two-week continuance," Papendick said in court.

Judge Tim Bjorkman denied the request because a condition of Watts' release from jail was to maintain contact with his attorney. Bjorkman ordered a bench warrant for Watts' arrest. Watts will be held without bond once he's arrested.

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