Mason City man accused of multiple vehicle thefts to plead guilty
MASON CITY — A Mason City man accused of stealing a vehicle from a Clear Lake gas station in January and stealing a propane truck in June has pleaded guilty in both cases.
50-year-old Aaron Ryerson was charged after a January 20th incident in which he was accused of taking a $60,000 diesel pickup truck from a Clear Lake convenience store and was seen driving the vehicle while intoxicated northbound on I-35 and was later stopped after a short pursuit.
Ryerson on June 4th was arrested by a Mason City police officer while in possession of a stolen Freightliner commercial propane truck that had been reported stolen out of Winnebago County that had a value of about $200,000.
As part of a plea agreement with prosecutors, Ryerson filed an Alford plea in Cerro Gordo County District Court on Monday for one count of first-degree theft as a habitual offender. With an Alford plea, a person does not admit guilt but acknowledges there is enough evidence for a likely conviction.
The plea agreement says prosecutors will recommend a prison term not to exceed 15 years, fully suspended, with Ryerson placed on five years probation and be ordered to complete the drug court program, with the sentences to run at the same time. If Ryerson is not accepted for drug court, prosecutors will recommend a ten-year prison sentence, not suspended.
A formal plea change hearing has been set for September 27th.