COLUMBUS — A 21-year-old Duncan man is facing felony theft and drug possession charges in connection with a stolen pickup found abandoned in the village and a four-wheeler and motorcycle that disappeared the same night from a rural location north of town.

Morshawn Hawkins was charged with theft-receiving stolen property over $5,000, possession of a controlled substance, obstructing a police officer and criminal mischief stemming from the Nov. 14-15 vehicle thefts.

Platte County Court Judge Frank Skorupa set bond for Hawkins at $100,000, 10 percent allowed for release, during a first appearance hearing Wednesday and continued the case until Dec. 7.

The theft charge is a Class 2A felony with a penalty of up to 20 years in prison. The drug charge is a Class IV felony with a maximum sentence of two years behind bars. The obstruction and criminal mischief charges are misdemeanor offenses punishable by time in the county jail.

A Platte County Sheriff's Office investigation got underway Nov. 14 with a report from a Duncan man that his vehicle had been stolen overnight from outside his home then parked near a grove of trees to the east of the residence, alongside a large pile of trash.

Deputy Justin Grant reported in his arrest statement that while going through discarded trash at the site he found mail and a vehicle registration addressed to a man living at another Duncan residence.

The deputy stated that a family member of Hawkins reported paying the defendant to haul a load of trash to the dump.

While he was sifting through the trash, the deputy wrote, an area man arrived to report that a motorcycle and four-wheeler, valued at approximately $10,000, were stolen during the night from his property north of town.

The area man left for about 20 minutes, Grant wrote in his statement, then returned to report that he followed the tracks from the four-wheeler to the same Duncan residence that appeared to be the source of the trash pile.

A search of the property where Hawkins lives uncovered a four-wheeler that had been spray-painted tan and a motorcycle in a garage, the deputy reported. The vehicle identification numbers matched those of the four-wheeler and motorcycle reported stolen, Grant wrote.

A search of Hawkins’ bedroom revealed meth, drug paraphernalia and other items believed to be stolen property, including wallets with Social Security and debit cards and computers not belonging to the defendant.



Jim Osborn is a news reporter at The Columbus Telegram.

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