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In January,  a statue of baseball legend and MLB integrator Jackie Robinson was cut off at the ankles, stolen from McAdams Park in Wichita, Kansas, loaded into a pickup truck, and was later found burned and dismantled in a garbage can. Naturally, Black people assumed some group of rabid racists lynched the statue, but police later arrested one man, Ricky Alderete, and determined that his crime was not racially motivated.

Well, last Thursday, Alderete pleaded guilty to stealing the statue, along with other crimes, which is why he is now facing more than 19 years in prison, according to TMZ Sports.

During his arraignment Thursday, Alderete admitted to a myriad of crimes and pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary, aggravated criminal damage to property, interference with law enforcement, criminal damage to property, theft, making a false writing, and identity theft—which means he was up to a lot more than just stealing a legend’s statue to sell for scrap metal. 

From the Associated Press:

Authorities arrested him in February, with court records alleging he entered a Wichita home with the intent to kidnap someone as part of an effort to interfere with law enforcement.

He then was charged later that month with felony theft and aggravated criminal damage to property in the statue theft, along with two other counts. Police said there was no evidence it was a hate-motivated crime. Rather, the intent was to sell the metal for scrap, police said.

According to state correction department records, Alderete already has a criminal record that includes burglary and theft. He is due to be sentenced for his latest crimes on June 1.

Meanwhile, Wichita’s statue of the baseball legend—who played for the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues before joining the Brooklyn Dodgers and integrating Major League Baseball—is being replaced after nearly $300,000 in donations poured in for the effort. 

That’s how you honor a Black hero.

Man Pleads Guilty To Stealing Jackie Robinson Statue From Kansas Park & Faces 19 Years In Prison  was originally published on