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February 07, 2018 06:07 PM

GEAR UP Defendant Asks Judge To Move Trial

Lake Andes

The first GEAR UP trial is set to get underway in just a few weeks. 
But the defense is requesting a change of venue.

One of the defendants in the GEAR UP case says she cannot get a fair trial in Charles Mix County.

Former Mid Central Assistant Business Manager Stephanie Hubers is set to go on trial on March 5.

She is accused of helping the Westerhuises steal money and taking payments to keep quiet.

According to newly filed court papers, 146 juror questionnaires were returned to Charles Mix County. 32 percent of perspective jurors believe Hubers is guilty.

One potential juror remarked: "These people are all guilty and the Westerhuis family was murdered--maybe not by Scott like they say, even though he was a nut." 

Another Charles Mix County resident said, "From my experience with her I have no doubt she knew what was going on and decided to keep it hush hush"
                       
And there was this remark:  "KELOLAND News has pretty much covered everything on it, so sick of hearing about it; I would not be a good juror." Hubers' attorney says another 15 percent of jurors have the potential to be biased against her. 

Prosecutors in the case disagree and say Hubers can get a fair trial in Charles Mix County. But if the judge wants to move it, the state asks it to be moved to Hughes County because the attorneys for the state and some of the witnesses live in Pierre and it would save taxpayer money for lodging and transportation during the trial. 



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