A month before his release from prison on a burglary charge earlier this year, a 35-year-old Fremont man was charged again after his blood was found at another burglarized home.
Anthony C. Morabito pleaded guilty to the new charge of burglary in the Dodge County District Court and was found guilty by Judge Geoffrey Hall Monday.
On July 22, 2019, Morabito was sentenced to three to five years in prison for delivery of a controlled substance and one to two years for attempted delivery of a controlled substance in Madison County.
A little over two months after his sentencing, the Fremont Police Department received confirmation that one of the fingerprints lifted from a Feb. 15, 2019, robbery was Morabito’s. He was interviewed at the Lincoln Correctional Center on July 14, 2020, but declined to give a statement.
On Dec. 22, 2020, Morabito pleaded no contest to the burglary charge and was sentenced to one to three years in prison to run concurrently with his previous sentence. He was released on March 29.
Morabito’s new burglary charge came from March 6, 2019, when FPD responded to a burglary call. The home’s occupant said they were only gone for 30 minutes before returning to the house, which had items missing.
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“Officers discovered a broken basement window, and they also discovered small droplets of blood at the crime scene located on the dining room floor,” Deputy Dodge County Attorney Emily Beamis said at the plea hearing.
A witness also reported a vehicle at the scene prior to the burglary and a man leaving the home, putting a bag in the truck, getting in the passenger door and leaving.
An item reported stolen in the burglary was pawned two days later by Shane C. Rupe, 40, who had a vehicle registered to him that matched the description of the witness’ report. Attempts to locate Rupe have been unsuccessful and he is believed to be somewhere in Iowa.
On Jan. 19, FPD was notified by the Nebraska State Patrol Crime Lab that the blood at the scene of the burglary matched Morabito, who was incarcerated at the Omaha Correctional Center and did not wish to speak about the incident with a detective.
Additionally, the DNA sample found in Fremont matched that of blood found at a burglary scene in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Beamis said as part of Morabito’s plea deal, the state was not opposed to a term of 18 months of probation as long as he complied with its conditions, had no arrests and would pay restitution of $1,034.34.
Hall ordered a presentence investigation and set Morabito’s sentencing for Dec. 20.
In other district court news on Monday:
- Taylor R. Daniels, 29, of Omaha was sentenced to 30 months of intensive supervised probation for possession of a controlled substance and theft involving stolen property. On July 5, an FPD officer pulled over a vehicle for traffic violations. After backup was called, another officer found a small bag of meth on the passenger seat where Daniels had been sitting and a pipe in a backpack. Daniels admitted to owning them, as well as another pipe located on him. During an inventory search of the vehicle, a wallet containing another person’s ID was found in the passenger door. Bodycam footage showed Daniels placing the wallet in the door during the traffic stop. The owner of the wallet was contacted and said that their car had been broken into recently. Daniels pleaded no contest to the two separate charges on Oct. 4. Beamis said although the state had issues with a probation term, as Daniels previously had terms revoked in 2016 and 2019, she said he was honest about wanting probation and treatment. Daniels’ attorney agreed and said his client was willing to take a chance to turn his life around. “I don’t want to be like my peers,” Daniels said. “I want to be a productive member with my community peers.” Although Hall said Daniels’ record wasn’t great, he said he had potential to make a change. “You’ve been given some talent to do things, to get a job, to be employed, to be a positive support for yourself and your family, and you’re wasting it,” he told Daniels. “So what’s it going to take?” Hall gave Daniels 30-month sentences on each of the charges to run concurrently. He also ordered him to take part in 60 hours of community service, a 12-step program, employment enhancement and relapse prevention. Daniels was also ordered to obtain his GED by Dec. 31, 2022.
- Michael A. Wright, 41, of Fremont was sentenced to 30 months of ISP for tampering with physical evidence. On April 16, FPD officers were called to a residence in regard to Wright, who had an active warrant for his arrest. As Wright was being placed under arrest, he reached into his pocket and threw a blue object into the yard. Although he told officers the item he threw was a lighter, officers searched the yard and found the item, which was discovered to be a methamphetamine pipe. Wright pleaded guilty to evidence tampering on Sept. 20. Beamis said the state was not opposed to a probation term, which Wright’s attorney said his client would prefer. He said Wright had completed inpatient treatment that day and was planning on moving into a halfway house. Along with probation, Wright was also ordered to take part in 60 hours of community service.
- David M. Nabity, 36, of Fremont was sentenced to 24 months of probation and fined $500 for failing to register as a sex offender. Nabity was placed on the registry for 25 years on June 13, 2006, for first-degree sexual assault of a minor. He failed to complete his mandatory verification status with the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office in February, violating the Nebraska Sex Offender Registration Act. Although Nabity initially pleaded not guilty, he withdrew the plea and admitted to violating the act on Sept. 27. Beamis said the state was not opposed to a probation term, with Nabity’s attorney agreeing. He said his client had no ill intent with failing to register, which he called a “mistake.” Along with probation, Nabity was also ordered to take part in a money management program.
- Andrew W. Whitley, 40, of Fremont appeared on a motion to revoke his probation. On Jan. 25, Whitley was sentenced to 12 months of probation and 200 days in jail for operating a motor vehicle to avoid arrest and driving while revoked five months prior. A motion to revoke his probation was made last month after he was arrested for possession of a deadly weapon by a prohibited person and possession of a controlled substance on Oct. 18. Hall set Whitley’s bond at $100,000 and set his next hearing for Nov. 29.
- Gabriel Medina Jr., 45, of Fremont had his status hearing set for Dec. 6. Medina has pleaded not guilty to separate charges of possession of a controlled substance from July 31 and Sept. 2. After a request from Medina’s attorney, Hall lowered his bond to 10% of $40,000.
- Heather L. Charles, 33, of Omaha; David B. Jorgensen, 23, of Plattsmouth; and Angela G. Greser, 45, of Fremont were not present for their hearings. Hall issued bench warrants at $150,000 for each of their arrests.