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      Man pleads guilty to helping cover up Kopenkoskey case

      John Ernst, 59, took a plea deal late Wednesday afternoon.

      A Levering man has plead guilty to charges connected to the Kopenkoskey murder case.

      John Ernst, 59, took a plea deal late Wednesday afternoon, pleading guilty to two counts of perjury that carry a maximum sentence of 15 years.

      Ernst was arrested Feb. 3 after investigators learned through Kopenkoskey's wife, Carol, that he helped her get rid of the gun used in the murder.

      Ernst was facing one count of accessory after the fact to a felony for his part in that and was also being charged with six counts of perjury stemming from a Prosecutor's investigative subpoena in August.

      Ernst was scheduled to go to trial in April, but the prosecutor offered him a deal, which he took.

      â??This plea agreement allows the case to be resolved without going to trial and helps bring closure more quickly to Lyle Kopenkoskeyâ??s family,â?? Prosecutor James Linderman said.

      Ernstâ??s sentencing has not been scheduled.