CASPER, Wyo. — A Casper man has pleaded guilty to the theft of a prized 1972 Chevelle from a storage unit last September.
Jaelin Miller, 27, entered his plea in Natrona County District Court on Friday.
“I really regret my decision and it affected some pretty good people in the community,” Miller told Judge Josh Eames when entering the factual basis for his plea.
Miller has been incarcerated since his arrest about two weeks after the reported theft. Judge Eames agreed to reduce his bond to $10,000 personal recognizance, which will take effect next week when Miller will furlough to inpatient treatment.
The muscle car is owned by City of Casper Water Distribution Manager Willie Gonzales. He discovered the car was stolen from his storage unit on his birthday, Sept. 6. He had been planning to drive his grandkids in it to their first day of school — an annual tradition.
After seeing social media posts related to the theft, a witness reported having seen the Chevelle being dropped off in the overnight hours at the garage of an Evansville residence, according to the Casper Police Department affidavit.
The witness also reported seeing a passenger.
“Unfortunately, despite the efforts of the detective, it does not appear that the other party was ever identified,” CPD Lt. Jeff Bullard told Oil City News on Friday.
On Sept. 10, police responding to the Evansville home for a welfare check also informed the homeowners that they’d received a tip about the stolen Chevelle being on the premises. After being granted consent to search, police located the Chevelle in the garage, the report said.
The homeowner said Miller had asked if the homeowner could store a car for him because Miller said his girlfriend would trash it, the affidavit said.
Assistant District Attorney Jared Holbrook told the court that the state had agreed to recommend a five- to eight-year suspended sentence with three years of supervised probation in the case. The sentence would run concurrent to sentences in those other matters.