McCOOK, Nebraska -- Court proceedings are wrapping up for the two men accused of forcing their way into several McCook homes in May, wearing bandanas to hide their identity and assaulting residents that they startled awake in many instances. The offenders, 29-year-old Joshua R. Knappert of 1517 W. First Street and 21-year-old Nicholas R. Clapp of McCook, have both accepted plea agreements in their cases.
Knappert has already been sentenced after accepting a plea agreement that admitted guilt to three Class I misdemeanor offenses of third degree assault. He was sentenced, July 31, 2012, to 45 days in jail on each count, to be served at the same time. He was also given credit for 31 days in jail already served.
Knappert had originally been charged with a Class II felony of burglary, three Class I misdemeanor assault offenses and an additional misdemeanor for disturbing the peace.
He accepted a plea agreement at sentencing, offered by Red Willow County Attorney Paul Wood, that dismissed one assault charge and the disturbing the peace charge, while reducing the felony burglary offense to misdemeanor assault and subsequently admitted guilt to the three remaining misdemeanor offenses.
Clapp accepted a plea agreement, Oct. 3, 2012, which reduced a Class II felony burglary charge against him to a Class I misdemeanor assault charge and subsequently pleaded no contest to six other Class I misdemeanor assault charges and one Class III misdemeanor for disturbing the peace.
Clapp is scheduled for sentencing at 9 a.m. on Dec. 5, 2012, in Red Willow County District Court.
Court documents indicate that the spree of assaults and break-ins, by Knappert and Clapp on May 26, may have been related to a reported burglary on May 19 of the West First Street residence of Janet and Gary Knappert. Two women and one man have pleaded not guilty to felony burglary charges stemming from that crime, 20-year-old Toni Hopkins of 906 East E Street, 22-year-old Johnathon M. Wickizer of Benkelman, Nebraska, and 18-year-old Rayna Snyder of 115 West O Street.
Hopkins is the victim named in court documents in both original felony burglary charges against Clapp and Knappert, who were accused of assaulting her and taking her purse.
Hopkins and the two others are accused of stealing $9,000 in cash, in addition to jewelry and other items, allegedly taken from the home of Hopkin's mother, Janet Knappert.