Independence man pleads guilty to theft of iconic city statue

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. (AP) — An Independence man has pleaded guilty for his role in the theft of a six-foot bronze statue from a museum.

Thirty-seven-year-old Jeremy Ratliff will be sentenced June 13 after pleading guilty this month to felony stealing. He was one of three men charged in the June 2013 theft of the Pioneer Woman statue from the National Frontier Trails Museum.

One of the men has been sentenced to seven years in prison and the other has not yet pleaded.

The life-sized statue of a woman with a baby in one arm and a bucket in the other weighed 1,000 pounds.

The Independence Examiner reports Ratliff and another defendant tried to sell the bronze from the statue at a Kansas City recycling center but workers there refused to take it.

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