Former Macon police officer pleads guilty to theft of $25,000 tractor, other crimes

bpurser@macon.comOctober 1, 2013 

A former Macon police officer has pleaded guilty to theft by taking related to a $25,000 tractor, violation of oath by a public officer and other charges, while another former officer also accused of that theft and other offenses appears headed to trial.

Jon Adam Wantz, 33, of Warner Robins, and Troy Everett Guidry, 41, of Juliette, resigned from the Macon Police Department after being arrested in the Jan. 24 theft.

In addition to the tractor theft and oath violation, Wantz pleaded guilty Monday in Bibb County Superior Court to conspiracy to commit burglary and second-degree burglary.

The conditions of the plea agreement included Wantz’ cooperation with the investigation and truthful testimony against Guidry, said David Cooke, district attorney for the Macon Judicial District.

Also, a charge of theft by taking a .22-caliber revolver between Dec. 17, 2012, and Jan. 24, 2013, that was the property of the city of Macon will subsequently be dismissed, Cooke said. Wantz was accused of pocketing the revolver he found at a vacant building, said Myra H. Tisdale, an assistant district attorney.

The agreement also calls for a recommended sentence of four years in prison and six years on probation, Cooke said.

“Any law enforcement officer who violates the public trust should expect to go to prison even if they cooperate with the state,” Cooke said.

Mary Elizabeth Marsh, an assistant public defender representing Wantz, could not be reached for comment.

The dismissal and sentencing are expected to take place after the disposition of the Guidry case, which may go to trial in December, Cooke said.

The men were indicted in April on charges of violation of oath by a public officer, theft by taking of the Kubota tractor belonging to Mr. Rooter Plumbing and criminal trespass for allegedly shooting out the exterior lights of the Roff Avenue business in order to steal the tractor.

Also, both were indicted on charges of conspiracy to commit burglary of Boone Orthodontics on Northside Drive on Jan. 24, 2013, and second-degree burglary of the North Macon Medical Complex on Nov. 15, 2012.

The indictment also included other charges only against Guidry of two counts of theft by taking in relation to the thefts of two pickups, attached trailers and the lawn mowers each trailer carried that belonged to the Bibb County Board of Education. Guidry also is accused of taking a laptop computer belonging to Macon police.

In addition, Guidry was indicted on two counts of criminal use of an article with an altered identification mark in connection with the laptop and one of the trailers used to haul the mowers.

Franklin J. Hogue, a Macon attorney representing Guidry, said Guidry previously rejected a plea agreement. Also, Wantz’s testimony against Guidry as a part of his plea agreement was not a surprise, Hogue said.

“We just intend to defend it at a jury trial,” Hogue said.

Hogue declined comment on the facts of the case.

In January, employees of Mr. Rooter on Roff Avenue in Macon arrived at work and saw that the outdoor lights had been broken. Although they didn’t notice anything missing, an employee used a GPS tracking system to see that the tractor was in Juliette. Macon police and Monroe County deputies found it at Guidry’s home, and Guidry and Wantz were arrested and charged with the theft.

Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report. To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.

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