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Ice-cold case: 26-year-old beer caper dismissed

A man who has been in prison since 1988 requested Tuesday to withdraw his guilty plea to a 1987 burglary charge.

That year, Darrin Amos entered a garage in Davison County to steal beer and got caught, said Assistant Davison County State’s Attorney Bob O’Keefe.

He appeared in court and pleaded guilty to the burglary in December 1987. Shortly thereafter, Amos was convicted of rape in Roberts County and sentenced to 50 years in prison. He failed to appear for the burglary sentencing in January 1988, so a bench warrant was issued. That warrant was never served upon him in prison, O’Keefe said.

“In the interest of justice, he has been incarcerated since that date, we’d ask that you allow him to withdraw the guilty plea and dismiss the case for lack of prosecution,” O’Keefe said.

He added that the state’s attorney’s office at the time had the chance to execute the warrant, but didn’t act on it.

Judge Tim Bjorkman granted Amos’ request to withdraw his guilty plea and dismiss the case.

“They’ve had 26 years to bring this matter forward and the party is entitled to have the case resolved,” Bjorkman said.