- Associated Press - Friday, June 29, 2018

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - The Latest on the trial of a former business employee at a Platte-based educational cooperative charged in an embezzlement scheme (all times local):

6:30 p.m.

An attorney for a South Dakota woman cleared of theft charges says prosecutors didn’t have any evidence she knew about an embezzling scheme uncovered after her boss killed his family and then himself.

A jury found former Mid-Central Educational Cooperative business staffer Stephanie Hubers not guilty Friday of grand theft and alternative receiving stolen property charges. Defense attorney Clint Sargent reiterated his closing argument after the verdict, saying “Scott Westerhuis didn’t have accomplices. He only had victims.”

Prosecutors had accused Hubers of getting about $55,000 to keep quiet about embezzlement by Westerhuis and his wife. Westerhuis killed her and their four children in 2015 before setting their home ablaze and killing himself.



Attorney General Marty Jackley, a prosecutor, gave his appreciation to jurors and says he respects their verdict.

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5:41 p.m.

A South Dakota jury has cleared a woman who was accused of aiding an embezzlement scheme that exploded into public view after a man killed his family and then himself.

Stephanie Hubers, a former business staffer at Mid-Central Educational Cooperative, was found not guilty Friday of grand theft and alternative receiving stolen property charges.

Prosecutors accused Hubers of getting about $55,000 to keep quiet about embezzlement by business manager Scott Westerhuis and his wife. Westerhuis killed her and their four children in 2015 before setting their home ablaze and killing himself.

But Hubers testified she didn’t know the couple was stealing and that Westerhuis portrayed the extra payments to her as a raise. Attorney General Marty Jackley, a prosecutor, unsuccessfully argued Hubers knew about the couple’s theft, participated in it and profited from it.

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5:20 p.m.

A South Dakota jury has reached a verdict in the case of a former South Dakota educational cooperative employee accused in an embezzlement scheme uncovered after a family’s death.

The 12-member jury reached the verdict in the case of Stephanie Hubers Friday after deliberating for nearly six hours. Hubers is a former Mid-Central Educational Cooperative staffer accused of receiving about $55,000 to keep quiet about embezzlement by business manager Scott Westerhuis and his wife before they perished in a 2015 murder-suicide.

Westerhuis killed her and their four children in 2015 before setting their home ablaze and killing himself.

Defense attorney Clint Sargent says Hubers didn’t steal anything. Hubers testified earlier in the trial that the extra payments were portrayed to her as a raise. She said she didn’t know the couple was embezzling.

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11:45 a.m.

A jury is considering the case of a former South Dakota educational cooperative employee accused in an embezzlement scheme uncovered after a family’s death.

Closing arguments were Friday in the theft trial of Stephanie Hubers. She’s a onetime Mid-Central Educational Cooperative staffer accused of receiving about $55,000 to keep quiet about embezzlement by business manager Scott Westerhuis and his wife before they perished in a 2015 murder-suicide.

Defense attorney Clint Sargent says Hubers “didn’t steal a thing.” Hubers testified earlier in the trial that the extra payments were presented to her as a raise. She said she didn’t know the couple was embezzling.

Attorney General Marty Jackley, a prosecutor, asked the jury to hold Hubers accountable by finding her guilty of grand theft and grand theft by deception or alternative counts of receiving stolen property.

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6:49 a.m.

A jury will soon have the case of a former South Dakota educational cooperative employee accused in an embezzlement scheme uncovered after a family’s death.

Closing arguments are Friday in the theft trial of Stephanie Hubers. She’s a onetime Mid-Central Educational Cooperative staffer accused of receiving roughly $55,000 to keep quiet about embezzlement by business manager Scott Westerhuis and his wife before they perished in murder-suicide.

Westerhuis shot his wife and four children, then set fire to their home and killed himself in 2015.

Hubers testified she didn’t know the couple was stealing. She’s pleaded not guilty to counts of grand theft and grand theft by deception and alternative receiving stolen property counts.

Attorney General Marty Jackley, a prosecutor, earlier told jurors Hubers knew about the couple’s theft, participated in it and profited from it.

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