Greene County bridge theft case nearing conclusion

By Ryne Turke on September 16, 2015 at 1:37pm

Location of stolen bridge in the county.

The case involving the disappearance of a bridge in Greene County is drawing to a close.

Greene County State’s Attorney Caleb Briscoe informed WLDS-WEAI News that 46-year-old Matthew Tucker of rural Carrollton pleaded guilty to a Class 2 theft of government property last Wednesday.

Tucker, who was on trial for taking an iron bridge in Kane Township in March, will appear in court on October 14th for an official sentencing.

Briscoe says a motive was never established for the alleged theft.

“I think it had a significant amount of scrap metal on the bridge. That was probably part of the motivation, but he never said that,” says Briscoe.

According to Briscoe, Tucker agreed to Alford plea agreement. Briscoe explains the details of that deal.

“We don’t have a no contest plea in Illinois. He is admitted that the state’s evidence would find him guilty in a trial, but he isn’t exactly saying he is guilty,” says Briscoe.

Briscoe says this is a rare stipulation, but the judge, defense, council and state felt this was an “appropriate exception under these circumstances.”

Greene County Sheriff Rob McMillen reported that the bridge was found on Tucker’s property in pieces in April.

The state will seek restitution on the theft charges.

Tucker was also arrested for fleeing and attempting to elude a peace officer and unlawful possession of methamphetamine after allegedly leading Greene County Deputies on a three-mile chase in April. Those charges, as well as a secondary theft charge, were dropped as part of the plea agreement.