Defendant ordered to pay nearly $100,000 in catalytic converters theft case

Mar. 13—MOUNT VERNON, Mo. — A Lawrence County judge has ordered a Strafford man to pay $93,599 in restitution to the victim of a theft of catalytic converters on a rural Miller man's property.

Jeremy D. Redman, 43, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Lawrence County Circuit Court to a felony count of stealing in a plea agreement dismissing a related robbery charge and calling for a five-year sentence.

Circuit Judge David Cole accepted the plea bargain and assessed Redman the five-year term and restitution order with credit for having already served 860 days in jail awaiting resolution of the case.

Redman is one of two defendants charged with stealing catalytic converters and performance radiators in June 2021 from Damon Robison's property near Miller.

Michael R. Watkins, 44, of Greenfield, pleaded guilty to stealing in 2022 and was sentenced to seven years with the term to be served in the state's long-term drug treatment program. He has since been released on probation.

Robison returned to his property three years ago just as the suspects were leaving, and they purportedly threw items out of their car at him and pointed a gun at him making their getaway. He later picked them out of photo lineups as the thieves involved.

The judge also sentenced Redman to concurrent terms of five years for burglary and stealing in another case.

Jeff Lehr is a reporter for The Joplin Globe.