KEARNEY — A Kearney man faces up to 20 years in prison after admitting to stealing money from Countryside Christian Church in Kearney in November.

Ric Brundidge, 34, of Kearney pleaded guilty last week in Buffalo County District Court to felony burglary of the church on Nov. 17 where cash was taken from inside an office.

Judge Ryan Carson accepted the plea and found Brundidge guilty. The state probation department was ordered to do a presentence investigation, including a substance abuse evaluation.

Findings of that report — including background information on a defendant, family and criminal history, employment history and a substance abuse evaluation — will help Carson issue an appropriate sentence.

Brundidge will be sentenced in July.

On Sunday, Nov. 17, the Kearney Police Department responded to a reported burglary at the church where Brundidge entered the church from a door on the north side of the building, went through the ceiling of the women’s bathroom and into the main office. He took keys, $600-$700 in cash and a $30 check made payable to the church, records say.

The security camera was pulled down from the ceiling in the main office and wiring also was cut. That damage was estimated at $100.

Police obtained video footage from the camera and were able to identify Brundidge from prior contacts from his tattoos with the words “Pure” and “Evil” above each eyebrow.

Brundidge is being held at the Buffalo County Jail on a $100,000 bond. He also is being held on three burglary warrants from Dawson County and one burglary warrant from Phelps County.

Dawson County charges against Brundidge are:

- Felony burglary to the American Lutheran Church and the Victory Assembly of God Church, both in Gothenburg, on Nov. 17; possession of a firearm while committing a felony, possession of a machine gun/short rifle/shotgun, and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person

- Felony burglary to the Cozad Bible Church and the Nazarene Church, both in Cozad, on Nov. 12; possession of a firearm while committing a felony, possession of a machine gun/short rifle/shotgun, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, and felony distribution of marijuana.

- Felony burglary to the Eddyville Co-op, Busted Knuckle Garage, Eddyville Post Office and the Eddyville Volunteer Fire Department on Nov. 12; three counts of conspiracy to commit burglary, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, felon in possession of a firearm and possession of a stolen firearm.

The Phelps County charge for Brundidge is:

- Felony burglary to Westmark Evangelical Free Church at Loomis and misdemeanor criminal mischief on Nov. 11.

The charges are pending in each county.

Tyrelle Smiley, 22, of Kearney also is charged in connection to the burglaries in Dawson and Phelps counties.

Smiley’s charges in Dawson County are:

- Felony burglary to American Lutheran Church and Victory Assembly of God, both in Gothenburg, on Nov. 17, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and felony possession of a short shotgun.

- Felony burglary to Cozad Bible Church and Nazarene Church, both in Cozad, on Nov. 12, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and felony possession of a short shotgun.

Phelps County charges against Smiley are:

- Felony burglary to Westmark Evangelical Free Church at Loomis and misdemeanor criminal mischief on Nov. 11.

All of Smiley’s charges are pending. He also is being held at the Buffalo County Jail on several bonds.

@HubChic