Steve Conard, 39, was charged on September 26 with the theft of "moveable property from a corpse."
On Monday, Conard pleaded no contest to takling the cream-colored Tele from a casket at Allouez Catholic Cemetery and Chapel Mausoleum near Green Bay. Conard, who faces a potential 10 years in prison, will be sentenced in January.
A cemetery employee overheard Conard talking about the guitar: "That's a Tele, a really expensive guitar. I have to have that guitar. It's too expensive to be in a crypt." When that same employee looked in the casket the next day, the guitar was missing.
Deputies found the Tele in Conard's home. "This isn't something I normally do; I just have a respect for fine musical instruments," Conard said, according to the sheriff's department.
The Tele was returned to the family, and the man -- Randall Jourdan, 67 -- and his guitar were entombed. Jourdan's dying wish was to be buried with the instrument, his "pride and joy." Jourdan played guitar for 40 years.