Former jailer pleads guilty to theft of government property

By Ann Maher | May 18, 2018

A former St. Clair County jailer accused of stealing money from a detainee has pleaded guilty to theft of government property.

A former St. Clair County jailer accused of stealing money from a detainee has pleaded guilty to theft of government property.

Zachary Kurtz, 32, of Marissa, had faced two Class 3 felonies for taking currency from jailed suspect Willie Long on Sept. 7, 2016, charges that carried sentences of two to five years on both counts.

He pleaded to a Class 4 felony, which carries a sentence of between one and three years.

Kurtz will not be sentenced until Nov. 19.

Official misconduct charges filed against Kurtz in December alleged that he exceeded his lawful authority to gain personal advantage, and that he knowingly performed an act he knew was forbidden.

Charges did not specify the amount Kurtz took from Long, but a separate charge of misdemeanor theft shows the amount did not exceed $500.

Belleville attorney Justin Kuehn of Belleville represents Kurtz.

As for Long, East St. Louis police charged him as a felon in possession of a weapon. He stood trial last October, and jurors found him not guilty.  

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