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Trial date set for ex-BYU football player Reno Mahe, 3 others in theft case

Published: Friday, Jan. 13 2012 6:19 p.m. MST

Reno Mahe

Tom Smart, Deseret News

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SALT LAKE CITY — A trial was scheduled Friday for former BYU football standout and NFL football player Reno Mahe and three others who are facing theft charges.

Mahe, 31, fellow former BYU football player Tevita Ofahengaue, 37, and Michael Andrus, 35, will face second-degree felony theft charges, and Fred Prescott, 36, faces a third-degree felony theft charge when the three-day trial begins on July 11.

The four men have been accused of stealing more than $6,000 in gasoline from A-Core Concrete Cutting between August and October of 2010.

Mark Evers, 31, was working for the construction company at the time and testified that he began stealing gas from the company in 2006 using a code he created for the company that maintained fuel pumps.

Evers' alleged theft was discovered in October 2010, leading to a review of surveillance tapes dating back to August 2010 that helped police identify Mahe, Ofahengaue, Andrus and Prescott.

Evers testified that he told Mahe, a high school friend, that he received free gas as part of his employment package and offered to share with Mahe. All of the defendants have stated that Evers told them the gas was free, but Evers said he made them aware that it wasn't.

Evers was charged with theft, a first-degree felony, but has been offered a plea agreement in exchange for his testimony that will allow him to plead guilty to a reduced third-degree felony charge, avoid prison time and see his conviction reduced to a misdemeanor if he completes his probation successfully.

A-Core Concrete Cutting filed a separate, civil lawsuit against the men and was awarded a $55,396 judgment against Evers in the case. The case is still pending against the other men.

Mahe's defense attorney, Rudy Bautista, said all of the defendants have denied any criminal culpability in the matter and have offered to pay back the money prosecutors believe they stole. But he said A-core wants as much as three times more.

Emiley Morgan, Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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