Former Brigham Young University running back Sateki Reno Mahe — accused of a series of gasoline thefts — will likely accept a plea in abeyance at an Aug. 6 hearing, said defense lawyer Rudy Bautista on Monday.
The plea will result in dismissal of the case if Mahe completes all requirements set forth by the court and does not incur any further charges.
Mahe, 32, is one of five men charged in 3rd District Court with second-degree felony theft for allegedly stealing about $55,000 in gas from A-Core Concrete Cutting, a Murray company, between 2006 and October 2010.
At a preliminary hearing last year, former A-Core employee Mark Evers said he helped Mahe, Michael Andrus, Fred Prescott and Tevita Ofahengaue, also a former BYU player, fill up their automobiles using a code to access the gas pumps.
A-Core officials said they discovered the missing gas in October 2010. In surveillance footage from August through October 2010, Evers and the other men could be seen filling up at A-Core’s lot after work hours, officials said.
Evers said the code was intended for the company to run tests on the gas tanks and did not obviously register on the computerized tracking system.
Outside the courtroom, Mahe acknowledged that he will likely accept a similar plea deal in August. He added that the notion of a plea in abeyance "seems cool."
Bautista asserted Mahe is not guilty of stealing gas because he was under the impression it was a gift, but he said Mahe plans to pay the $2,688 in gas he took over a three month period.
"I know I didn’t do anything wrong, so I’m fine," Mahe said.
He played for Brigham Young University from 1998-2002 and also played five seasons in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles beginning in 2003. The father of six said he has learned from the experience and is eager to put an end to the case.
Prescott, 36, accepted a plea in abeyance Monday. He entered an Alford plea to a class B misdemeanor, meaning he admitted only that there was sufficient evidence to convict him. He must pay a $500 court fee, $612 in restitution and serve 40 hours of community service over the next 12 months.
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