Wisconsin man pleads not guilty to stealing from coffin

ALLOUEZ, Wis. (AP) — A groundskeeper at a Green Bay-area cemetery has pleaded not guilty to stealing a $2,000 guitar from the casket of a recently deceased man.

Forty-year-old Steven W. Conard is charged with theft of moveable property from a corpse. The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

A Green Bay Press-Gazette report says Conard pleaded not guilty Monday.

Family members of the dead man followed his wishes and had the Fender Telecaster guitar placed in his coffin after he died last month.

Sheriff’s investigators say a cemetery employee later overheard Conard talking about how the guitar was too valuable to be buried. The employee looked in the casket the following morning, and the guitar was missing.

A message left with Conard’s defense attorney was not immediately returned.