In the courts

In the courts

Wal-Mart loses battle
for $76,000 tax refund

Wal-Mart Supercenter lost a 1997 property tax appeal on Monday. Because of the ruling, the Buchanan County Commission won’t have to pay the giant corporation more than $76,000.

Buchanan County Assessor Gary Stanton appealed to the Circuit Court a ruling by the Missouri Tax Commission that would have required Pat Rethemeyer, county collector, to refund the disputed amount to the Wal-Mart Supercenter at 4201 N. Belt Highway.

The company paid all of its $223,264 assessment, but failed to prove that it notified the county collector at the same time of the appeal.

Wal-Mart originally appealed the assessor’s 1997 property valuation of the local store, won a change in the assessment and the refund by order of the state tax commission.

Mr. Stanton believed the county shouldn’t have to pay a refund and appealed the decision back to the tax commission.

He lost a second time before taking the commission and Wal-Mart to Circuit Court.

Teen pleads guilty
to burglary charge

A St. Joseph teen-ager pleaded guilty Wednesday in Buchanan County Circuit Court to burglarizing a local business in February.

Jamie Sollars, 17, 2019 Francis St., pleaded guilty to a felony charge of second-degree burglary.

Mr. Sollars told the judge he and another man, Bryan Grooms, drove to the Belt Highway in the early morning on Feb. 20 to get a soda.

He said that on the way back to the house where Mr. Sollars was living at the time, they drove by a building and decided to break into it.

Mr. Sollars said he broke the glass on the front door of Install-It-All Electronics, 3613 Lafayette St., and unlocked the door so he and Mr. Grooms could enter.

He told Circuit Judge Randall Jackson he was in the business two weeks earlier with Mr. Grooms.

Mr. Sollars told the judge he took four compact disc stereos and three amplifiers. He said they then went to a residence on Lincoln Street, where Mr. Sollars was living.

Mr. Sollars said he was arrested on Feb. 23 by officers about half a block behind the home with the stolen merchandise in a bag.

Mr. Jackson rejected a plea agreement recommended by the state of a two-year prison sentence.

He set sentencing for 1:30 p.m. June 22.

Mr. Sollars could receive up to seven years in prison, up to a year in the county jail, up to a $5,000 fine, or a combination of both incarceration and a fine. He remains in jail on a $20,000 bond.

Mr. Grooms’ next court date is a docket call set for 8:30 a.m. May 24 in Circuit Judge Patrick Robb’s courtroom.

He remains free on a $10,000 bond.

Woman gets 8 years
for delivering drugs

A St. Joseph woman was sentenced to prison Wednesday on a drug charge.

Brenda Hargrave, 28, 510 Shady Lane, pleaded guilty in March to a felony charge of delivery of a controlled substance.

In a plea petition filed with the court, Ms. Hargrave admitted delivering methamphetamine to a confidential informant on June 23.

Circuit Judge Patrick Robb sentenced Ms. Hargrave to serve eight years in the Department of Corrections.


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