Graveyard guitar robber faces jail

MILWAUKEE Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:14am EST

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MILWAUKEE (Reuters) - A Wisconsin cemetery worker could spend 10 years in jail after pleading no contest to stealing an electric guitar from a casket.

The cream-colored Fender Telecaster was laid upon the body of Randall Jourdan, who wished to be buried with his "pride and joy," the criminal complaint said. The guitar was recovered from the suspect's home the next day.

"I have to have that guitar. It's too expensive to be in a crypt," Steven Conard allegedly told a groundskeeper at the Allouez Catholic Cemetery and Chapel Mausoleum near Green Bay where he was working, the complaint said.

Jourdan was a guitar player for more than 40 years, family members told investigators.

Conard, 40, was accused of stealing the guitar on September 23. He entered his plea in court on Monday and will be sentenced in January.

(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien; Editing by David Bailey and John O'Callaghan)