McCOOK, Nebraska -- The second of two men charged with 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, was sentenced Monday in Red Willow County District Court. T
he offender, 21-year-old Nicholas R. Clapp of McCook, was sentenced to just shy of two and a half years in county jail for his role in the crime.
Clapp and his accomplice, 29-year-old Joshua R. Knappert of 1517 W. First Street, were arrested after a string of assaults that occurred just past 12:30 a.m. on May 26, 2012. The pair assaulted at least six different people, three of which were women, culminating with the assault and theft of a purse from 20-year-old Toni Hopkins of 906 East E Street.
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 a West First Street residence. Two women and one man were charged in connection with the burglary, including 20-year-old Toni Hopkins of 906 East E Street.
Hopkins is the step-sister of Joshua Knappert and 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.
Victims and witnesses to the assaults told investigators that on several occasions Clapp and Knappert had demanded to know "where the money was" during the assaults.
Hopkins and her accomplices are accused of stealing $9,000 in cash, in addition to jewelry and other items, allegedly taken from the home of Hopkin's mother.
Hopkins accepted a plea agreement in November that admitted guilt to the burglary of her mother's home, she is scheduled for sentencing on her felony burglary charge in Red Willow County District Court at 11 a.m. on Jan. 7, 2013.
Clapp accepted a plea agreement in October that reduced a Class II felony robbery charge against him to a Class I misdemeanor offense of third degree assault. He subsequently pleaded no contest to seven Class I misdemeanor third degree assault offenses and one Class III misdemeanor offense of disturbing the peace.
Clapp was sentenced Monday by Red Willow County District Court Judge David Urbom to 120 days in Red Willow County jail on each of the seven assault charges and 30 days on the disturbing the peace offense. The sentences were to be served consecutively, combining for 870 days of county jail time, with Clapp receiving credit for 152 days already served.
Clapp is the older brother of Kailee Clapp, the 14-year-old McCook girl that was murdered by Stathis Kirkpatrick in 2011. Kirkpatrick was sentenced to life imprisonment at the Nebraska State Penitentiary last month.
Joshua Knappert received 45 days in jail for his role in the assaults. He was sentenced in July to 45 days on each of three Class I misdemeanor offenses of third degree assault, with the jail time to be served at the same time. Knappert was given credit for 31 days in jail already served.